Everything Is Awesome Party

The theme for this party came up in two ways. 

1) Rocco decided way back when that he wanted a Lego party
2) If you ask Rocco and his brothers how their day was or how they are or how they liked such-and-such, they always answer, “AWESOME!”  My favorite was when Vincenzo was sick and threw up and I asked him how he was feeling and he weakly said, “Awesome.”  They are that committed to awesomeness.

So Everything Is Awesome it was.  Kevin declared this the party of the most unnecessary decorations, but I reminded him of a few parties in the past and he withdrew his comment.  Here’s the quick view:

lego party pic collage

I was not going to go overboard for this party, but oops.  It’s not my fault, though!  I had planned one activity: build your own Lego car.  I couldn’t help it if my brother had just built an “awesome” wooden race track that he was happy to lend me.  I couldn’t help it that my friend who hosted a Lego party last year gave me two bags of decorations, activities, and a giant plastic Lego head begging to be filled with pirate booty.  And I wasn’t going to stop the babysitter when he made a “Happy Birthday Rocco” sign out of Legos.  It’s not my fault!

It’s also not my fault that the plasticware holder the kids built out of Legos looked like this—Rocco filled it up.


Anyway, when the kids arrived they each got to choose a bag of Legos for building a car—all the bags were slightly different.  Letting the kids pick out Legos from the Lego store and stuffing the bags was a fun activity in itself!

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It was so fun to listen to the kids tell you all about their cars.  Like Vincenzo’s, which was covered in machine guns and which he said was Mexican. 


Then began the racing, and it never really stopped—the party has been over for three days now and my boys keep building and modifying cars to send down the ramp!


Inside, kids could decorate Lego faces.


They could color in some Lego guys with Lego shaped crayons we made.


And they could stand near the Lego doors I decorated that Kevin keeps making fun of me for.


For the cake we just made a bunch of Lego “chocolates” (I use quotation marks because I know the candy melts aren’t chocolate and am not quite convinced they’re edible), dug up some mini figures to hold the candles, and voila!  So simple that Rocco got to decorate it himself!




And at the end of the party we put on The Lego Movie.  It was such a relief to sit and be quiet after all the wildness of the party—I think I will end every party with a movie from here on out!  (Here you see my newphew, watching the movie in his most relaxed pose.)


And now this little twerp is FIVE!  I’m not sure the world is ready for the five-year-old version of Rocco yet, but as this post isn’t really about him, per se, I’ll have to wax poetic on a different day.


Thank you, Michael, for making my party look way prettier than it actually was with your photography!


We spent last week/weekend at our family’s cabin on Whidbey Island.  During the course of the week, one boy threw up, one girl got her fingers mashed on the pool table, one got a Leo-shaped bite mark on her arm that looks fairly permanent, one boy left early due to a bad case of swimmer’s ear, and one fell off a driftwood teeter-totter and fractured his humorous bone.  No joke!  But still, I think everyone had the time of their lives and I hope they’re not too scared to come back.

Nothin’ more to do but throw out a bunch of pretty pictures from the week.  I think I am only going to shoot photos when I am at Whidbey Island from now on…they’re in a class of their own!  (My sister took the one of me and my boys.)













8th Anniversary: Willow

We celebrated our 11th anniversary by celebrating our 8th anniversary.  Confusing?  It’s too hard to explain, so just go with it.  Anyway, Kevin planned a crazy, amazing getaway that started with leaving our boys at my parents’ house, driving north through an Indian reservation, boarding a 22-car ferry, and landing on Lummi Island, population 442. 

Once off the ferry we grabbed some lunch at one of the two restaurants on the island and ate on the deck, looking out over the water and beyond that, Mt. Baker.  It looked enormous that day, like, this:

mt baker

So I took a picture.  It turned out like this.


I swear, the first picture is more accurate!

We drove up to the place Kevin rented for us and I started to exclaim that I couldn’t believe he rented a whole house for us, but then I checked myself and said I could believe he rented a whole half a house for us:


He explained that all the rooms he could rent on the island only had one bed and he knows that I sleep best in my own bed, so he got a house with two bedrooms.  Is that the most romantic thing a husband could do for his wife…or the least romantic?  Either way,  I pointed to the couch and reminded him that he’ll be sleeping there anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Dinner was insane, I mean insane.  If you are a vegetarian, please stop reading here and go make a donation to Peta instead. Meat-eaters, read on:

Dinner started with individual boxes that released a delicious puff of smoke when we opened them, revealing a perfect smoked mussel inside.  We tried to take a picture but it had the same results as the Mt. Baker picture:


(Imagine instead a puff of smoke like a genie coming out of that box.)

It progressed to garden flowers served in nasturtium puree, smoked salmon that tasted like candy, one deep fried kale chip dotted with truffle paste, and then a bunch of courses I don’t remember because I was trying to drink enough wine that I would be okay eating the course that was coming a little later: venison tartar. 

I ate it.  I was good, but also a bit sad.  I almost cried. 

Then we were served a prawn grilled with its own roe, which set off a long discussion about would you rather be grilled with your own babies alongside you or without your babies (Kevin thought it would be an insult for someone not to want to grill your babies, while I though it would be the worst possible thing that could happen to my babies).  Either way, it made me want to cry a bit harder.  I held the tears in, though, knowing the chef would likely harvest my tears for a broth to serve alongside my own babies.  Besides, it all tasted so good!

Dessert was really crazy: wild island berries served in a grass broth.  Grass broth.  And since I live in Washington State, I should clarify that is was the kind of grass that grows in your yard and needs to be mowed once a week.  It was AWESOME.  I know you don’t believe me, but it was!

We pretty much ate our way through the two days of our trip, which doesn’t make for a great blog but does make for a great 8th and/or 11th anniversary.


Okay, Summer, you are beginning to wear me out…but I love you anyway.  I’m a bit too overwhelmed with where to start blogging about our summer, so I’ll just throw a few pictures up and hope I have time to fill in later this week.

Took Rocco/Leo to the car museum with their grandpas:


Watched Leo win his first race (he’s the one in the stroller here, being pushed by his uncle “Kooks):

Built a lot of these:


Hit up the Museum of History and Industry:


Paid off this many library fines:


Went to a lot of parks:


Spent a weekend at our friend’s cabin in the mountains:


Took Vincenzo, a friend, and The Grandpas to tour the Boeing plant:


Ate a lot of peas from the garden:


Celebrated our anniversary on a tiny island with nothing on it but a 5-star restaurant:


Went camping here:


…and I am POOPED.  But happy.

MrMouthy’s Mini

You know how I mentioned that Kevin and still weren’t even after the sleeping pillow incident of last week?  Well it turns out Kevin’s car was totaled in the ensuing accident and he came home from the rental company driving this:


My husband, if you can’t tell, is not really the Mini Cooper type.  Maybe if they sold a Super Maximum Beefcake Cooper he’d fit the profile better, but somehow he made the Mini look like a clown car, even though there was only him inside.


I laughed so hard seeing MrMouthy driving this around all week that I consider our score even now.

The Fourth on The Fifth

Here is our holiday mostly in pictures, plus a few words.

The very helpful picture I sent McStreamy when she asked me to describe where we were in the parade crowd:


Leo’s dreadlock of tiredness reaching Parade Level:


In fact, I’m not sure he was actually awake during the parade:


The most exciting part of the parade for our group–the part we jumped up and cheered and waved our flags for:


(Great Grandpa is on that bus.  He had the choice between being in the WWII veterans group or the Assisted Living group.  He didn’t even have to think about his decision.)

The helmet that is like another son to me:


McStreamy’s Spawn is so sweet and gentle that he wasn’t getting any of the candy being thrown.  Here he is just after McStreamy taught him how to stand on the side of the street and hold his hand out so that strangers can give him candy:


(He can drop out of preschool now.  He knows everything he needs to know already.)

A four-year-old running on the beach:


An eight-year-old, running on the beach:


Just another normal day at the park:


Two pretty good pictures of the boys:


One great picture of the boys, a la photoshop:


Oh, Photoshop, I love you almost as much as I love my boys.  😉


I am assuming there will be no girls at the 4th of July parade today because their moms are all at home trying to make this happen:


If there are girls at the parade and their hair is not fashioned as such, I will be sitting on the sidelines watching them go by.  Judging them.

MrMouthy gets Karma’d

Kevin knows not to play the Game of War with me.  No, not the card game…the game where, for example, one person continually leaves his shoes mere inches from the shoe rack but fails to put them on the shoe rack, so the other person politely asks him to put them on the shoe rack and even clears off one of her own shoe racks in case that would help.  That one person continues, however, to leave his shoes on the floor, so one day when he goes to put on one of of said shoes he finds they have gone missing.  He apologetically approaches his wife, who puts him on a reward system to earn shoes back with good behavior, so for two weeks the husband is begging the wife to break the garbage disposal one more time just so he can fix it and earn back the silver Pumas that look like he stepped in a pot of gold paint.


(I totally don’t “get” these shoes.)

Anyway, the other night when we went to bed, only one of our two good sleeping pillows was on the bed, the other being three levels deep in a fort that took up our whole living room.  Kevin, being a man of chivalrous times, might have gone to fetch said pillow, but having long left his chivalrous ways behind him said instead, “Hey, I got the one good pillow.  I’m not sorry.”

I sent him a text that night warning him to watch his step.  These situations never end well for him.

That morning he went to the dentist and ended up with a surprise root canal.  Surprise!

That afternoon this happened to Kevin on his lunch break.


I’m not saying I planned these events to happen, but I’m also not saying I didn’t because it’s just too perfect.  Kevin came home from work and told me okay, we’re even.  I raised an eyebrow and asked, “Oh, are we?”

That night when he went to bed he found that all the pillows on his side of the bed had been swapped out for “bad” pillows.

Of course, this plan backfired because I forgot Kevin goes to bed two hours before I do, so he snagged my good one and left me with the bad one once again.

So, Kevin, I hope you slept well last night on that good pillow, because this means we are no longer even.  You might want to stay on campus for lunch today. 

Of course, as I am the one who packed your lunch, it might be safer to go out to eat.

And don’t worry about that chipped tooth next to your root canal tooth…I’m sure that one won’t need a root canal next time you go in.

There are two things you shouldn’t mess with: Karma and your wife’s sleeping pillow.

4th of July

I saw a friend at the park this week and she said, “I can’t wait to check your blog this week to see what you’re crafting up for the Fourth.”

The Fourth?  Er…

We’ve been more focused on “braun” than “brain” this summer and all the beach time has made us a bit derpy.  But when I browsed through some photos of the past couple weeks I realized we haven’t been totally brain dead around here.

The boys made this for their Great Great Aunt—it’s watercolor on stretched canvas (I just taped out the lines with masking tape and had them paint over the tape), then Vincenzo added the stars with acrylic paint when dry.  The “Believe” is a sticker.


And I made this wreath for the boys’ Great Grandpa, except for the awesome fancy red flower—my sister made that, I have no idea how but it probably involved dark magic:


We made cookies, but since we make cookies almost every day I hadn’t thought to blog about it:


I decorated my mantel; does that count for something?  It totally needs a 6” high metal star behind the low candle holder, and all I can think when I look at the mantel is how it doesn’t have one:


Oh, and I bought deely boppers:


Celebrating the true American Spirit of just phoning it in.  Happy early Fourth of July!