Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch with the toddler playgroup, which is always hot, dusty, exhausting and exciting. Okay, pumpkin patch is kind of grand considering we just lifted up an already picked pumpkin from a pile that I saw them pour out of a box. There were lots of living things there--too many, actually. I could do without the biting emus, the butting goats and the spitting llamas.The "train ride" was driven by a small tractor that couldn't carry the weight of the three adult and multiple kid passengers. So, they kicked off a dad and made some of the farm hands push the train. The kids love the bouncy slide and bounce house and the ride on the two sickly-looking ponies.
And then they got to choose their own pumpkin and lug it all the way to the cash register. The best thing at the pumpkin patch (besides our friends) is all of the photo op's.

Product raves

I could write some more about what it's like to stay home with sick kids, but it'd be mostly muttered swear words and besides, now they're well. Did you even know Scarlet Fever still existed? It's not just a drag queen name, it's the rash that comes with a strep infection. Owen looked like he was sunburned and then it got a little bit blistered.

Anyhow, I wanted to write about a few products I am happy about right now:

I know it's odd, but it works, which is a nice thing if you have a lot of houseguests and one bathroom or if you are potty training a toddler who wants you to sit next to them reading stories in a small bathroom concentrated with the smell that spells potty success.

And Mexican Cokes are a hit in our house. In real glass bottles made with real cane sugar. Our CostCo just started stocking these, so we got a case. A case that is disappearing quickly.

Ooh, and Disney Kids' mini ice cream cones. They're the perfect size for toddlers because they only hold about 2 tablespoons and that's all I really want them to eat. They're the cake kind and we got them at Ralph's. I may serve these at Aldo's birthday party.

And although we lack the home decor tendency, I was tempted by these:

It says MOTHER is terribly stressed but compared to Dad she still KNOWS BEST

and HAPPINESS IS knowing that eventually the kids will go off to college and then you'll have A CLEAN HOUSE.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall is here. Time for the pumpkin.

Is today the first day of Fall? I know it's around now because it's always around the 21st and I saw a Fall Foliage map on the weather report.

In Fall's honor, or perhaps more becaue they sound good, I'm making pumpkin muffins today. Rather, I just made chicken fried rice with my Chinese vegetable stash from a previous post and I'm going to make pumpkin muffins with Owen when he wakes up from his nap.

Did you catch it? The tell tale sign that all is not well? Owen has a little fever (100 degrees) and is napping. It's strangely quiet in the house because both boys are sleeping.

I made a pumpkin pie last week, but that was because we saw them in Cost Co. The boys and I ate the whole thing because my husband is not a pie-eater. I justified every slice by thinking "two servings of orange vegetable."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And I've never even read The Secret

I've been table shopping because our warm September nights are perfect for dining outdoors. The kids love to see Harriet running around the table (and then sidling up to it to see what she can snag.) It also cuts down on the food droppings in the dining room. We've been using a fold up camping table, but it wasn't made for this much use and the seats are breaking one by one. Usually the ones Greg or I sit on since the kids' behinds don't make a dent.

So, I 've been looking on Craig's List at picnic tables but couldn't figure out how to get it home in my Toyota. Greg doesn't want to buy outdoor furniture until the new patio is done (expected date: never.) And then our neighbors down the street said they had a table to give us because their kids have outgrown it. It's waterproof and weatherproof and perfect.

Harriet is our busser. And floor show.

Finally, here's how much fun two tubes can be.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I need a time out!

Alternate title: Why won't they nap?!

Yesterday, I cleaned the heck out of the livingroom looking for Greg's lost stylus. The stylus is still lost, but I found a lot of heck.

And then when Aldo lost it from being inside for that long, we went to one of his favorite places on earth, the Model Train museum in Balboa park. He was so excited, he pointed and exclaimed at the parking lot, "There, Mommy, train!" And as we walked toward the museum he got more and more excited and vocal. Until we got there and realized (once again) that it is closed on Mondays. Oh, the sad refrain of "train, train, traaaaaaaaaain," all the way back to the car.

Today, we set out for the Mission Valley library storytime. Sure, there are other storytimes, but this one has singing and bubbles and dancing and lots of kids under 2. We stopped for a few groceries and got there just a few minutes late. I was a bit surprised to see so many parking spaces, but never imagined that it was CLOSED (gasp, muttered swear words,) for carpet repair. For the next month. Ungh.

Is noon too early to start drinking?

Fortunately, Owen got out the playdough and they're both playing with the playdough cookie cutters and such. It's a handmade batch, so it's color is muddy mold color. I was aiming for fuschia.

Greg mentioned last night that he really wants to go on an overnight fishing trip again. Soon. I told him he could go as soon as my overnight trip to the spa was booked. He said, "Tell me when," and I said "tomorrow." But maybe it'll be next week. I want a weekday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Asian supermarket field trip

I went to the Asian supermarket last Friday with a friend and her kids and ended up with the usual cartful of interesting edibles. (Do I capitalize "Asian"? Why? It's not a country?)

My main mission was more Curing pills and Po Chai pills for happy stomachs. And jars of premade Lee Kum Kee sauces. A bunch of greens that you rarely find in the regular markets--Chinese broccoli, baby bok choi, Napa cabbage, (ok, you can find Napa cabbage in most markets around here, but this Napa cabbage was fresher and crisper. )

And the weird label stuff like the Pocari sweat. My friend got a can of fried baby clams for her husband. She says he asks her if she's trying to kill him when he gets stuff like that. I brought my husband home some Panky chocolate for the name and it's surprisingly delicious. I love me some Panky.

And purple toast. I forgot that I like taro toast. It's purple and a little sweet and sticky inside.

I need to go back for some soda crackers that I saw called, "Magic Flakes." I think I need some more magic about now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dark chocolate, Brown Widows and Caca

Chocolate Midnight is a dark chocolate cake with two frosted cookies on the top--a white one in the shape of a moon (with facial features) and a chocolate frosted star. The kids took one apiece as Greg blew out his candles. It turns out that the cake is so dark chocolatey that it's too much for us. Greg has abandoned it for the brownies I made the day before and the kids say, "No thanks," when it's offered. Guess who's going to finish the cake. Yep, me and the diabetic babysitter are splitting it over the next couple of days. Unless I can get a neighbor to eat a piece.

Trouble is, my dessert-splitting neighbor Sarah has gone back to work. Her youngest (and only) has turned and is in full-time preschool and heading for kindergarten. It's beginning to be a trend. Moms are disappearing off the stay-at-home radar and are taking up jobs, gym memberships, hobbies or second and third babies. And when Aldo starts preschool (if?) who knows what will happen.

Owen's already been in full day preschool (8:30-12:30) for a while, which has allowed me to take Aldo to his toddler class. It is a place he can indulge his love of the parachute, which like many of his favorite things (bears, strawberries and blueberries) he calls "bear.

And having one kid has allowed me to further my pursuit of a whole new wardrobe through the thrift shops. I started with replacement t-shirts, then dresses, and now I'm up to prints, shoes, and belts. I was looking at a bracelet and I'd consider a new bag. Something purselike.

And the kids' clothes. So cute and so cheap.

It's nap time now. Owen still has a slight fever, so it might be a good nap.

Did I tell you he was sent home yesterday for fighting? A kid wanted him to do something at lunch, he didn't do it, the kid said, "Caca." At three years old, thems fighting words. So, Owen shoved him and the sippie cup cut his mouth and then Owen would not apologize. This is a write-uppable offense. Mom was called. Owen eventually apologized and went home.

So, we were a little relieved when he turned out to be sick. "See, it's the fever fighting, not Owen." Owen still got a lot of talking to.

Another wildlife story: Have you heard of the Brown Widow? It's like it's darker more famous cousin, but browner, slightly shyer and more poisonous. They're easiest to identify by their spiky egg sacs that look like old sea mines. If you get the right angle, they have the little red hourglass on the belly. They're also breeding in our backyard. Yikes! Under the playthings. Greg showed me a few before he torched them with the lighter. And then I found another one today along with 3 egg sacs under the wagon where Aldo was putting his little bare foot. All this while Owen got his hair trimmed at the hair salon.

Non-stop excitement around here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The zoo

This is going to be quick because, as usual, I can only dedicate to this blog about the time and attention of the average teenage text message. I'm trying to get this in while they're still using their new zoo clearance-priced battery-powered fan to vibrate tunes out of the thrift store xylophone.

And I still haven't written anything about Seattle, which my tastebud miss dearly, because I'm waiting to upload pictures and that could take a while.

But today was a baby book moment--when the giant tusked pig ate Aldo's shoe. He was kicking his little foot over the bridge to the pigs (from flamingos to the monkeys) and I thought I had better stop that before... and there it went into the muck. By the time the keeper fished it out, it was covered in something dark and mudlike and was missing part of the heel. Chomp.

In other news, Aldo is potty training himself (who is this kid?) and has peed on the potty several times. He is now in pull ups and is ready to start preschool next month when he turns 2. In a terrifying and frustrating change of events, the school just told me it's full. So, they'll find a space or we'll find a new school. Harumph.

And today is Greg's 41st birthday. We gave him his kid-wrapped Goodwill presents--frisbees and a microwave egg cooker! And his photo mug of the kids in a tree. I've made barbecued chicken and potato salad for dinner (how domestic!) And we'll have chocolate cake from Whole Foods for dessert.

I was trying to duplicate the birthday cake I had in Seattle (Black Magic) but they have different cakes in different locations. So we have a Chocolate Midnight cake with a star and a moon on the top. I'll let you know if it's worth staying up for.

One hour until the babysitter gets here. The kids have abandoned the fans and xylophone and have taken the dog outside. Gotta run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cute things Owen has been saying

1. It's sunny o'clock. (when he woke up and saw that it was sunny.)
2. I peed really bad. (because he heard his dad say that he had to pee really bad.)
3. When I'm big, I'm going to drive my own car/my own truck/my own airplane and go really fast. He also has plans to have a little mouse in his truck and a bed for the little mouse.

Owen wants to be a skeleton pirate for Halloween. Or maybe a bat.

I don't know what Aldo wants to be. Would it be too much to ask for him to dress in one of the two hand-me-down costumes we have from Owen?