We built this party!

SITSAS–Thanks for checking me out!  I just have a few people/entities I’d like to thank for getting me where I am today.  First, thank you to the Internets and all their tubes.  Thank you to my cat for not blocking those tubes today.  Thanks to my husband for letting me constantly take 40 points off his IQ in my blog posts.  And as my son prays every night, thank you for thank yous.  Oh!  And thank you Heather and Tiffany, our SITSAs House Mothers!


*Feel free to leave your web address with your comment, as I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn’t run my blog through blogger.  🙂

QUICKIE: At storytime today, the librarian asked the kids to name body parts that start with the letter C.  Mine was the child in the back repeating confidently, “Penis…penis…”
Vincenzo’s construction birthday party went down last weekend.  We put so much caution tape on the windows/trees I think we made the new neighbors nervous about their new neighborhood.  The way the table decorations matched the favors and the caution tape matched the invitations and the buffet incorporated some thematic elements was very wedding reception-ish.  (As a side note, if you’re getting married anytime soon we have a huge roll of caution tape we’ll sell you–cheap!)

Las fotos:

The idea that started the whole party          Food in toolboxes/toys that may or may not have been
                                                               covered in dirt, spiders, cobwebs, etc. one day previous

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Painting Fridgebox Town                             Eating brown-bag lunches
(seconds before the angry hornets              (Please note I turned on the
swarmed the young babes)                       “pedophile block” option)

Breaking the pinata, in a mild-
mannered, non-violent,
rather lame way

All funniness aside, I couldn’t help but feel pride as my son spontaneously thanked guests for coming or for bringing gifts, and the way he was just as excited about the way a present was wrapped as what was inside (“Look, Mommy, this one’s a double decker.  A DOUBLE DECKER!”) and pride because for the first time in three years he let everyone use his toys without crying or kicking or grabbing or screaming.  He beamed, BEAMED, the entire party and it was so contagious that for awhile I forgot it was Vincenzo’s party and I felt as special and joyful and full of life as he did.  And I found that three is a great age to be.  Happy birthday, Little D!

Seared steak and fig salad
Cheesy Polenta
Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus
Plum Torte

Categories Uncategorized

C is for Why Do I Keep Trying?

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, looking for his metal detector before bed: “Mommy,  have you seen my plastic detector?”
Despite Vincenzo’s best efforts to turn C week into “C is for Cranky,” we made it through.  It was cars, cars, cars all week and being a resourceful teacher, you can bet I enriched our activities with all two hours of the Cars DVD.  Plus the shorts.  And the out takes.  (Hey, I had some bloggin’ to do!)  We also made car tracks by rolling his cars in fingerpaints and then on paper. 


We talked about how there are many healthy vegetables that start with C, like carrots, celery, and cauliflower.  We talked about that the entire time we made and ate chocolate cars and laughed rebelliously.

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And when all the fingerpaint was wiped off our fingers and all the chocolate licked off our fingers, (or was it the other way around?) we set to work making a cardboard car.  It’s easy–all you need is a refrigerator box, or, er,  any kind of box will do.


Cut it into desired shape then you dress your son in a shirt that you absolutely hate but that he wears all the time so that tomorrow you can say, “Sorry, we can’t wear that shirt anymore.  Do you see?  It’s all covered with paint!”  Begin painting with non-washable paints.


Add paper plates, a racing stripe, and VOILA!


I was waiting to take a picture of Vincenzo in it, eyes all aglow and in the throes of imagination, but he’s almost as uninterested in playing in it as he was in painting it.  Kevin pointed out that when you sleep in this every night…


…a toilet-box-car is pretty low rent.

And then we reviewed.

Me: It was fun doing car week with you!  Do you remember what “car” starts with?
V: buh-buh-B!
Me: Uh, no.  It starts with C.
V: Oh yeah.  Buh-buh-C!

(The post title seems rather poignant now, doesn’t it?)

D’s choice of restaurants and a selection of petit fours (D’s favorite).  Happy birthday, Vincenzo!!

maybe he’ll just be a professional football player…

QUICKIE:  Just wanted to share my earring holder with you for today’s quickie.


Parents love to speculate about what their kids will be when they grow up.  Kevin and I haven’t yet decided what Vincenzo will be, but we have eliminated a few careers based on some recent conversations with him.

Eliminated: Salesman of Any Kind
K: It’s time to get ready for bed.  Do you want to throw the ball one more time?
D: How about five more times?
K: Three more.
D: Four more!
K: Two more.
D: No; how about one more time!
K: Deal.
(This conversation repeats itself throughout the day.  At least five more times.)

Eliminated: Kindergarten Teacher
D: (singing) Wing awound the wosie, pocket full of posie, ASSES, ASSES, we all fall down!
(ASSES is in caps/bold because he yells that word so that sometimes it’s the only thing people hear from the boy who is spinning around the store and falling on his…well, you know.)

Eliminated: Priest
Me: Dinnertime!  Let’s say prayers.
D: Sank you for parks and sank you for making us happy and the full house happy and sank you for God and sank you for sank yous and sank you for God and sank you for sank yous and sank you for making us happy and the full house happy!
Me: Okaaaaayyy…and our neighbor is sick.  What prayer should we say for him?
D: Warmed up milk please?
(Upon further leading questions, I finally did get him to pray for parks for our sick neighbor.)

Haven’t planned past lunch.  Today is D’s construction birthday party!!!!  Brown Bag Lunches for the kids; for adults it’s Build It ‘n Grill It Panini Bar.

Couch Potato

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, after breakfast: “I drank milk and then I ate waffles and now my stomach is confusing.”
I would like to be sweating to my Cindy Crawford workout tape right now but my reclusive cat has made a rare appearance and is flopped on my arm and he’s gone all cuddly-wuddly woo on me so I feel obligated to stay a few minutes. Yet all I have to blog about are some random thoughts:

1. The bottom half of me is dressed for working out while the top half is dressed for going out.
2. I have no idea where my debit card is today.
3. Which caused problems at the checkout at Costco.
4.  But I do know where my cell phone is!  (I think.)
5. You know what really pisses me off about the LHC?  Thinking of all my scrapbooks ripped into billions of atoms and flying into the black hole, where my atoms will be SO PISSED that they will regroup and RIP A NEW ONE in every one of the LHC scientists’ atoms. Don’t you MESS with my SCRAPBOOKS.
6. I’ve noticed that I’ve started looking young in all the pictures around my house. What’s up with that?
7. When you want to say you have lots of something, is the expression “butt load” or “boat load?” I think I might have been getting it wrong all these years…
8.  All my moles look mostly normal, in case you were wondering.

The friggin’ cat is kneading the couch, which is only a slightly less offense than licking his you-know-what on the couch. Cindy Crawford, please make it okay again.


Damnit, Clyde’s licking his you-know-what on the couch.  I’m going to google whether or not it’s okay to drop-kick your cat in such a circumstance.  Right after I drop-kick him, that is.

Space, the final frontier (like really, really final)

QUICKIE: Quote from Vincenzo: “You have a hairy bottom.” (But don’t expect me to tell you which parent this was directed at.)
It’s hard to find anything funny to blog about because I’ve been obsessively worrying about the LHC they built in Switzerland. You know—the machine that will isolate the center of atoms so that we can power the earth without fossil fuels…unless it accidentally creates a black hole and sucks us all into it. After calling Kevin at work repeatedly to tell him goodbye in case they turned the machine on today and to ask how badly it was going to hurt, Kevin sent me the following information to calm me down.

If you were caught by the pull of a black hole, you would be sent into free fall toward its center. The pulling force would increase as you moved toward the center, creating what’s called a “tidal force” on your body. That is to say, the gravity acting on your head would be much stronger than the gravity acting on your toes (assuming you were falling head-first). That would make your head accelerate faster than your toes; the difference would stretch your body until it snapped apart, first at its weakest point and then disintegrating rapidly from there as the tidal force became stronger than the chemical bonds holding your body together. You’d be reduced to a bunch of disconnected atoms. Those atoms would be stretched into a line and continue in a processional march. http://www.slate.com/id/2199664/

Quite calming, really. Very Zen-like, don’t you think? The part meant to calm me down was a sentence in the next paragraph that stated this would all happen in one one-billionth of a second. Oh goody I can go back to my bon-bons now.

I keep freeze framing my day to imagine what my family would look like our last second on earth. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a big embrace, looking up at the sky? Or running through a grassy park with flowers in our hair? But no, no, our family would look nothing like that. There Vincenzo would be, chasing the cat with the gigantic Styrofoam boxes strapped to each of his hands; there I would be pretending I was a dog by bringing cups to the table in my mouth and wagging my bottom like a tail; there Kevin would be, repeatedly slam-dunking his own head through Vincenzo’s basketball hoop. Scientists in Switzerland, are you reading this?

All this has left me wondering, how will the universe ever survive without us? And for how long should I lay off the dog-setting-a-table act?

Chili with Cheddar Biscuits
Asparagus. Cooked, I suppose.

Does this age look fat on me?

QUICKIE: When I asked Vincenzo for a word that starts with “B” today, he suggested, “Apple-Bee’s.” So…do I give him credit for that one?
Too exhausted to write much today, but I do have a few thoughts from my last mall experience. I’ve realized why it’s so hard to shop at my age. I go into any given store—let’s say Mariposa for the sake of this post—and I hold a skirt up to waist. The first question I ask Kevin is, “Does this skirt look like something a stuffy, middle-aged woman would wear?” Kevin will say something witty yet reassuring, such as, “Of course not. We’re at Mariposa.” Having passed the first test, my next question is, “Will this skirt make me look like I’m a 30-something wearing a 15-year-old’s clothes?” Kevin will say something unclever and insulting, such as, “Of course it will. We’re at Mariposa.” So I’ll put it back and sulk the rest of the day.

But should a shirt make it past the second question, there is a third question that must be asked: “Does this shirt look like something a stuffy, middle-aged woman would NEVER NOT EVER wear but a 15-year-old might accidentally like and wear, until her friends pointed out that the 30-something lady across the street is wearing the same skirt?” And if the answer is “yes,” then I’ll take that skirt and the matching bedazzled Mrs. Sunshine tube top, thank you very much ma’am.

Oh, for the days when I would just ask if this skirt makes my butt look big. Kevin always knew how to answer that one.*

Beefy Winey Crockpot Thingy
Roasted Potatoes
Chocolate Truffle Cakes

*Even so, he only used to get the answer right about half the time.

B is for Brain Dead

QUICKIE: Aunt Jnet babysat last night and TO MY GREAT HORROR showed my son the movie SpaceBalls.  I realized I had nothing to worry about today when V said, “Hey Mom, wemember when Aunt Jnet came over and we watched the Baseballs movie?”  Whew!
We followed up A is for Apple week with B is for Beach week…and luckily we caught the last days of summer for it!  We started with breakfast on the beach with aBBy (Kevin tells me that spelling aBBy that way is a stretch, but I’m sticking to it).  Here is our spread of B foods, B-shaped foods, and Bs we made on the beach.

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The next day my plan was to have Vincenzo make a beach scene by gluing colored sand on a beach coloring page.  It took A LOT of restraint–more than I ever knew I had–to not micro-manage the project, as Vincenzo made some very aggravating color choices.  He chose green for both the sky and the sand, making them look like grass and making the ocean look like a river.  His artistic liberties just may ruin the ABC book we’re making with these activities (B is for…grassy knoll?).  I did step in enough to keep him from coloring the entire thing blue, though.

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I gave up stepping in at all on the butterfly picture, so this is an even more accurate of the inner workings of Vincenzo’s brain.

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Fig. 1 (in which I painstakingly                   Fig. 2                                   Fig. 3
put glue on one circle at a time,
then let D put on the sand, then
shook off the extra, in case he
he should decide to choose a
variety of colors)


Fig. 5 (because I forgot to
take a picture of Fig. 4.  I know,
I know, it’s a big leap.)

Picasso went through a blue phase, right?  Vincenzo is going through an ‘orangeish-red” stage.  But I knew it was all worth it when he looked up halfway through the sand art and said, “This was a good idea, Mommy!”

And then we reviewed the week.

Me: What letter did we learn about this week?
V: B!
Me: Yep!  So what letter does “beach” start with?
V: A!
Me: B.
V: C!
Me: No, I mean–oh, never mind.

Chicken Enchiladas
White Rice
Cuke Salad
Warm Chocolate Truffle Cakes with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (and then we all died and went to heaven)

Oh me? I think I’ll skip dinner tonight.

QUICKIE: There is a sign on some computer equipment at my husband’s work that reads: “DANGER: DO NOT TOUCH. NOT ONLY WILL THIS KILL YOU, IT WILL HURT THE WHOLE TIME YOU ARE DYING.”
I’ve spent most of my life avoiding unhealthy foods, with McDonald’s being the heart of everything evil and heart-stopping. As you noticed a couple posts ago, we have VERY STRICT RULES about when Vincenzo is allowed to eat there. If things go my way, the capital letter “M” will be the very last letter of the alphabet he learns to recognize, and he won’t physically see it if it’s written in yellow.

But I learned something about McDonald’s recently, and this something must never ever be shared with my son. Come a little closer and I’ll tell you.

The secret is: McDonald’s is DELICIOUS.


The problem is that my fast food fix must occur without Vincenzo knowing. I once tried telling him we were at the drive-thru pharmacy when we went through the McD’s drive-thru, but he just leaned forward and ordered “One chocolate cone please!” (which is coincidentally the same thing he orders at the drive-thru pharmacy). I’ve even considered skipping out on church when Vincenzo is in the nursery to spend some time with my own holy trinity of one hamburger, a diet coke and an ice cream cone, Amen.

So I just wanted to give a big shout-out to Little Gym of Bellevue where when the kids turn the magical age of three parents are free to leave during class and fill up on McDonald’s just two blocks away, then still have time to stop by Safeway to stock up on Brussels sprouts and parsnips to cook for their families that night. If I factor in the cost of Little Gym, each McDonald’s lunch costs me $42.81. And it’s worth so, so much more than that.

Taste of the Town

What? No punch line today?

QUICKIE: We’ve spent a long time teaching Vincenzo that Caturday is a real day.  Now I’m wondering how long it’s going to take to teach him we were just kidding?
So I’ll return a $1,000 purse because it’s too expensive for non-pretentious Me but I’m about 10 minutes away (the time it takes to go to the mall) from buying this $350 dress, plus the $150 shoes and probably a $100 necklace to go with it.  Before I warm up the credit card, could someone please tell me if it’s wedding appropriate?  Both Kevin and Vincenzo will be in tuxedos, so I thought I should wear something a bit nicer than normal.  The picture doesn’t show it, but the material is shiny.


Garden Burgers
Baked Beans with Coca-Cola
Salad with White Beans, Feta, and Roasted Peppers
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rock Band II: The Legend Continues

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Mommy, there something wrong with your feet!”  (pointing at my pinky toe)  “This one’s only half a toe!”
Rock Band II came out yesterday and Kevin called home like three times to see if the package arrived.  I told him no every time though honestly I had no idea and hadn’t looked outside–it was just nice to keep hearing from my husband who usually calls home like, oh, ZERO times a day.  The conversation was the same every time, interchanging the word “undies” for other items of lingerie.

K: Has the package arrived?
Me: No.  Wanna know what I’m wearing right now?
K: Have you looked outside for it?
Me: Yes.  Oh darn, my whip cream undies are sliding off.
K: Well call me when it gets there, okay?

Sigh, the game did come and we did play, despite the fact that we didn’t have an X-Box, due to its untimely Ring of Death that neither I nor Cindi Crawford can possibly be held accountable for.  The band rocked out until its members peeled off sporting various injuries such as blisters, torn vocal chords, and Claw Hand.  The band , it ain’t as young as it used to be [two weeks ago].  But!  I did get to make Cranberry Lemon Bars, and nothing says “Livin’ On A Prayer” like watching someone try to eat a lemon bar out of their non-opening claw hand.  It’s downright poetic.

Either turkey dogs, cuke salad, and mashed potatoes or mall food