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Lost in Translation

February 5, 2016

Rocco’s class did some writing about trees.  Here’s what Rocco wrote:

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It reads: “evergreen tree u lih skreeee sup rio zen es a evergreen”

I see that he was given full credit for his answer, which makes sense…if this worksheet was actually designed to evaluate the students’ ability to speak in tongues.

Also, I learned that what Rocco wants to be when he grows up

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Translation: a “Miencraft enventre because I love Miencraft” and a “bleetoligist because Myles.”

I love six-year-olds.  And I look forward to the day I can proudly introduce my grown-up son to my friends as Rocco, the Bleetologist.

Because, you know.  Myles.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 4 LUNCH:
Chicken coconut curry
Brown rice
German Chocolate Caramel Brownies

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Oh, Kids.

February 1, 2016

I couldn’t really theme up today’s blog post; it’s really just a bunch of long-winded randoms.  I guess the theme is  Oh, Kids—you know, in the same way everyone loves to say, Oh, Florida.  Let’s get right into it.

This was last week’s church hand-out. 

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You might think by the “IDK” that nothing came to mind when Vincenzo thought of Jesus’ baptism.  But turn the paper over and  you’ll see he was flooded with imagery and ideas.

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Nukes.  Jesus’ baptism reminds Vincenzo of nukes—truckloads of nukes!

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume each of these nukes is carefully loaded up with explosive amounts of the holy spirit.

Speaking of baptisms, last night I was sitting with Leo, who was taking a bath.  (See how I did that there?!)  He was sitting in the tub with one foot out, a plastic drumstick in between his toes for whatever reason, when Kevin walked in the bathroom.  Leo just slightly angled his foot to aim the drumstick at Kevin and…”BANG!  BANG!”  He pretend killed his father with a plastic drumstick shot from between two of his toes.

I swear, I could give my boys a page from Ghandi’s diary and the first thing they would do would be to shoot me with it.

Oh, Kids.

Awhile back Vincenzo was studying music flashcards and I told him to divide them into two piles: one pile that he has mastered and one that he is still learning, and to label them as such.  He came to me and proudly showed me his stacks.

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I just shook my head at him, flipped the piles around, and walked away.

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Oh, Kids.

Awhile later he was playing piano to his friends over Skype: “The next song is by some guy named Beetlehooven.” 

Do you think it’s time to get him a new piano teacher?*

So Rocco has had this thing for a couple years where he doesn’t like trains with faces, like the Thomas the Train sort.  Leo, however, has no problem with trains with faces.  This causes problems sometimes, like when Rocco builds a track and Leo tries running his facey trains on them.  On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of all days, Rocco excitedly called me downstairs to tell me he had solved the problem: he built Leo his own track to run trains on.  Rocco’s tracks ran all over the basement and under some chairs, and they circled the couch twice.  Leo’s track consisted of six curved pieces that went in a small oval. 

Oh, Kids.  You know how they can be, reinventing segregation and stuff.

And I leave you with this final conversation, which you should definitely picture as a Family Circus comic:

Rocco: Leo, will you pass me the blueberries?
Leo: I can’t!  My arms are too short!

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Breakfast torta (leftover)
Dumplings**
Raw vegetables
Raw fruit

*I am his piano teacher.
**You try watching Kung Fu Panda III and not have major cravings for dumplings afterwards

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Meeeeeee!

January 24, 2016

I feel like I’m always giving you updates about the kids on my blog but not much about me.  So today, I present MrsMouthy’s spotlight on…MrsMouthy!!

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Where to start, where to start?  People always love stories about ailments and injuries, right?  I’ll start there. 

I’ve been dealing with some torn muscles in my calf for four years now—I’ve been through physical therapy twice, a year of massage therapy, two MRI’s, and the hardest part of all for me: entire months of physical rest (i.e. no running).  Nothing has worked.

A couple weeks ago I had an appointment to get tested for compartment syndrome, which is where you end up with a build-up of blood in some area of your body, such as your calf, and, I enjoy pointing out, in extreme cases it can lead to death.  DEATH, I reminded my mom, as I headed out to my appointment. 

I had to show up to the appointment an hour early so that I could run, jump, and bounce until my leg felt like it was going to explode.  I had been looking forward to that part of the test for weeks—seriously.  I was Prefontaine that day, busting a move all over the stairs and trails around the doctor’s office.  I ran until it felt like one more step would end up with my leg split open and the contents of my calf spilled all over the ground.  I am going to blow that test out of the water!  I thought, as I ran up a flight of stairs for the tenth time.  And the beauty of it is that the cure for compartment syndrome is simple: the doctor will just drain out some of the blood. I wonder what that procedure is like?  Probably leeches—yeah, leeches sounds right.

I was thinking about all this as I literally ran into the doctor’s office  and up the stairs where a nurse was waiting for me and she ran with me down to my room, where the doctor ran out of the room he was in with another patient, then I sat down and he stuck three needles into my leg and checked the pressure of each section. 

And after all that?  After all that it turns out my pressures were all normal and the doctor’s official diagnosis of my problem was a shrug of his shoulders.  He told me the cure, too: “Try stretching and modifying your activities.” 

I walked away—nay, I very painfully and slowly limped away—disappointed.  I’ve never failed at anything before!  Now I know what failure feels like: it feels like your left calf being on fire for a week.

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What else, what else about me?  Oh, I know—politics!  Always another big hit at the dinner table.

So there’s this old railroad track behind our house that the city recently bought and turned into a trail.  That’s good! 

But now the city wants to put buses or trains on the trail.  That’s bad. 

I won’t bore you with the details of why that’s bad (the Internet itself doesn’t have enough room for me to list them all), but that’s not the point.  The point is I’ve had to get a little political, which I hate, and I’ve been doing what I can in the community to raise awareness and get this thing stopped before it starts.  A couple weeks ago I kind of got nominated to give a speech at city council, which I didn’t think was that big of a deal until the night before when I woke up every half hour all night with the same dream that I got up to talk at the meeting and didn’t have my speech.  I woke up even crankier than normal, and my cranky level has already been pretty high with all this talk of trains in my back yard.

The night of the city council meeting I walked up to city hall with my speech in hand and Kevin at my side and I turned to him to ask, “Just to check…do I have my speech with me?”  He glanced at me and said, “Yes…but you’re not wearing any pants!”

Ba-du-dum.

Okay, so I’ve updated you on my ailments and my political views and I will spare you my religious views, so I guess all that’s left is for me to offer my personal commentary on the weather.  I went to the Internet to get the weather forecast for Seattle the past two months and came up with this:

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While all this gray weather has definitely gotten to me, I have the boys thinking that rain is the greatest thing on earth.  They wake up and say, “Yay, rain!”

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Yay.  Rain.

Oh well.  At least it’s good napping weather.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Filet mignon with gorgonzola butter
Jo-jo’s
Roasted vegetables
Shortbread hearts dipped in chocolate

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Scenes from the Morning

January 19, 2016

BEGIN SCENE: THE BOYS are eating breakfast at the bar and KEVIN, a prematurely graying father, is playing with LEO, a rabid looking three-year-old.  The playing turns to over-excited screaming.

LEO, screaming: GIVE IT BACK, DADDY!
ME, without looking up: Play nicely, Kevin.  Give Leo back whatever you took. 
KEVIN: But he’s talking about my finger!
LEO: GIVE IT BACK!
ME: Come on, Kevin, give Leo your finger back.  He was using it.
LEO, squealing: GIVE IT, DADDY!
KEVIN, holding up his hand to LEO: Okay, Leo, which finger do you want?  Because I think I know which finger I want to give you…

10 minutes later, THE BOYS have disappeared from the kitchen, leaving a colossal mess that ME is cleaning up.

LEO, calling sweetly from his room: Mom?  Mommy?  Mommy?
ME walks to LEO’S room and opens the door.  LEO is sitting on top of his fire truck bed, aiming a bedazzled Nerf gun at the door.
LEO:
Pew!  Pew!  Pewpewpew!  I killed you!
ME: Was that a set-up?  Did I just get set-up by my three-year-old?
ME walks out of room, picking up about 8 pairs of dirty underwear that lay scattered around the hallway

A short while later, ROCCO and LEO are playing with trains in the hallway.  LEO holds out an empty hand, presumably with a pretend train on it to hitch up.

LEO: Here you go, Rocco!
ROCCO [playing along]: Ooooo, thanks!  What is it, Leo?
LEO: A sticky hand!!

30 minutes later, ME and THE BOYS are walking scootering, and/or biking to the bus stop. 

ME: Vincenzo, when will you learn?  You’re wearing a sweatshirt and shorts to school and it’s 37 degrees outside! VINCENZO looks at his clothes, then back up at ME: I guess some people will just never see sense, will they?

Drum goes ba-duh-dum, ALL CHARACTERS look out at audience and shrug their shoulders, curtain drops.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
5-Spice Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus

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Finally, the Post You’ve All Been Waiting For!

January 13, 2016

Okay, I finally got my act together and took some “after” shots of the house.  I’ll probably do it again in a couple weeks because these pictures are cool and they definitely show how our house changed, but they don’t show the details, and there are so many cool details!  Let’s start with the biggie: the full-on shot of the upstairs.

Before…

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…and after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Insane, right?!  It’s like one of those weight loss adds that shows the before and after then in the fine print says, “Results shown here are not typical.”  But it really is so!  It’s amazing what four months and six digits can get you.

Okay, I’ll take you through the house in before-and-afters, like you just showed up at my door.   Don’t forget I’m showing you both before and afters, so don’t get confused.

So you drive up to my house and even though I just told you not to get confused, you are confused.  You second-guess yourself: is this even the same house?!  Is it even the same season?!

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You ring the doorbell, and you swear you hear it making  “mooo” sound inside.  I don’t answer because I think it’s just the neighborhood cow again, but you come in anyway because you’re like that.

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You walk upstairs and think to yourself, “Hm, something’s different.  Did they get a new fridge or something?”

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You stop to catch your breath and tell yourself you should go to the gym more often.   Here’s what you see while you’re catching your breath:

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Take a seat on the couch because seriously, you really need to go to the gym.  It was only seven stairs and I’m beginning to worry about you.  Anyway, here’s what you see:

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You’re feeling a bit more rested, but now you are famished from that walk up that one flight of stairs, so you head to the table to see what kind of cookies MrsMouthy has baked this week.

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Take a second to look back at that journey you just walked from the couch.  You really felt like you accomplished something there.

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Wonder if MrsMouthy is going to put chairs and a rug there by the windows or if she is going to keep it as an ice skating rink for her boys.

Now look to the right and yell, “HEY WHERE’S MY COOKIE?!”  Be irritated that MrsMouthy is not pulling one out of the oven because clearly you needed a cookie, like two pants sizes ago.

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Give up on the cookie and go to fetch yourself a glass of water.  Wonder where all the glasses went—they used to be in these cupboards, and now instead of glasses there’s just…glass!

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Confused, dehydrated, and low on sugar, let poor judgment get the better of you and take your best shot at skating on the hardwood floors—if, that is, you are wearing socks.  You are.  Good.  Start at the fireplace…

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…get a good running start…

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…and…

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…and…

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Oops.  You bit it.  Yell out some profanities while rubbing your tail bone.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off (because there are still copious amounts of dust in our house), and show yourself to the door.  You have given up on MrsMouthy’s hospitality.

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Turn the light on, just to see what it looks like.

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As you walk to your car, turn back to look at the house and wonder how it got to be so late so quickly.

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Go home and wonder if it was all just a dream.  Open up MrsMouthy’s blog to see if she posted anything new, read this post, and realize that…

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Nee nee nee nee nee nee nee nee…

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Leftovers, such as but not limited to…
Cheese souffle
Chicken breast
Vegetable beef soup
Elbow noodles
Three halves of apples
Bailey’s and white chocolate cheesecake

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My Punny Family

January 10, 2016

On Friday night we pulled up to a crowded IHOP.

Me: Wow, this place is really hopping tonight!
*cricket chirp*
Me: Did you hear me, Kevin?  This place is really hopping!  Get it?
Kevin: Yes. I heard you.
Me: Oh, that’s a good one.  Boys, you have the funniest parents in the world, you know that?
Vincenzo: IHOP not.

And so, let it be known that as of 6:00 last Friday night, the student has indeed surpassed the masters.

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Give him a high-five.  He deserved it.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Grilled chicken with mostarda
Cheese souffle
Steamed broccoli
Flourless chocolate hazelnut cake

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It’s 12AM Somewhere…

January 4, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone!  We had a few people over for the big countdown to 8:30, or what everyone else calls “midnight.”

The boys had fun decorating our new chandelier for the occasion.

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Then there was the traditional eating of the cheeseballs (Santa leaves these for Kevin every year and they never make it past New Year’s.)

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There were party hats to be worn (and, apparently, texts to be answered).

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The kids wore the snot out of those hats!

Of course, there were also tiaras to be worn.

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There were poppers to be popped!

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There were loud noises to be made!

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There were awkward and somewhat confusing moments to be captured!

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There were numbers to be counted backwards!

…3…2…1…HAPPY RANDOMLY SELECTED TIME, TECHNICALLY THE DAY BEFORE NEW YEAR’S!

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Seriously, Happy New Year.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Cheddar mushroom patties with tomato jam
Baked potatoes
Roasted asparagus
Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

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