Geeking Out Party

Vincenzo is turning eleven this week, and the older he’s gotten the fewer opinions he’s been able to form.  When I started asking him about what kind of birthday party he wanted, it went like this:

Me: So, what kind of a party do you want this year?
V: Hm, I don’t know…
Me: Do you want a slumber party?
V: I don’t know…
Me: Do you want to go somewhere or stay home for it?
V: I don’t know.  I don’t really care.
Me: Well then let’s think about who you want to invite and maybe that will help us.  What friends do you want to come?
V: I don’t know…who do you think I should invite?

Eventually Kevin got tired of listening to me try to get information out of Vincenzo and just planned the party for him.  It is a party for a computer nerd planned by his computer nerd of a father: two hours at a place called Game Clucks that has a bunch of computers with games on them and a carpet that really knows how to party.


I would have tossed a banana onto it for scale, but I was afraid the carpet would eat the banana.

We got kind of excited when we drove up and saw this sign on the door.


It made us feel official and so important!

I didn’t bring decorations, but once we went inside I saw it was unnecessary—the place was already decorated!  Pinterest is going to explode when I upload this!


Kevin took one glance at the set up and said excitedly, “Is that a Klingon sword?!!”  Sometimes I wonder how we ever ended up together.

I was surprised the whole place didn’t smell like B.O. and Mountain Dew, but there was a nice breeze going through so it was actually pretty odorless.  It was a pleasant surprise.

The minute the party guests showed up, they knew just what to do:



In a nutshell: kill things.  I walked by some kid’s computer and he was viewing an alternate world through a KILL CAM.

The only thing I had done to get ready for the party was send out an E-vite (CRAZY for a paper-cutter lover like myself) and then stop at Costco for giant bags of beef sticks.  Oh, plus there was a trip to a candy store to pick up a bunch of Vincenzo’s favorite candy:


If you want to know what it tastes like but don’t want to go out and buy any, you can have someone vomit in your mouth and then stick a lifesaver in there.  Or just check out these Toxic Waste Faces.




The longer we were at the party, the more Kevin started looking and feeling the part.


While Kevin and the boys were perfectly at home with their beef sticks and head sets, I had no idea what to do with myself.  I tried playing Super Smash Bros Melee for a bit and got really excited about all the points I was getting.  I was a natural!  Then one of the kids told me that this particular game is like golf—the more points you get the worse you’re doing.  So I handed over my controller and went to the back room to take pictures of the cake instead.  These are just some of the many.


As much as I used to love planning over-the-top parties, I have to admit that as of late, I instead have that amount of love for just-show-up parties.


It was a no-stress, all-fun, kill-for-thrills, beef stick kind of afternoon, and even if Vincenzo had absolutely no opinions going into the party, I think he came out of it with the opinion that it was pretty awesome.


Just like him.

Stuffed peppers (Greek and Italian)
Fresh pasta
Roasted acorn squash with brown sugar & cinnamon
Green beans with mint and lemon
Lemony cheesecake

Trying Something New…

Hey guys, it’s me!  I thought it would be fun to update my blog because I want tabs.  I want tabs in the worst way.  So I took the reigns in my hands, I started making some changes, and within two minutes I screwed everything up and can’t go back to how I used to be and also, if you didn’t notice, I still don’t have tabs.

But I do have this super crappy blog post that explains why my blog looks particularly crappy today.  You can thank me later.

That makes my blog the seventh major thing I broke recently.  I broke my laptop, my I-Phone screen, my glasses (technically lost, not broken), my car when I backed out of the garage with the trunk open, my brand new Canon 80D camera, plus I broke out in a very persistent rash.

At the rate I’m going, I might just break the whole bloody Internet.  Kim Kardashian couldn’t do it, but MrsMouthy probably can.

Pizza.  4 out of our 6 meals this weekend were pizza, in fact.  We go to way too many birthday parties.

*Good news!  Camera wasn’t broken; just in video mode. 

Leo, Age 4 and 6/12

I’m not sure what to do with this kid anymore.  I told him to smile for a picture and he did this:


He sometimes stands like this and asks, “Mom, are my feet on backwards?”


I looked up from the book I was reading aloud to the kids the other day to see this looking back at me:


He wore this to his first day of preschool this week:


He still pretends to be animals for a good chunk of each day and talks about himself in the third person when he is in animal form.  “Hoo, hoo, the owl is hatching an egg.”


Whenever Kevin is home, he asks, “Can we ‘ttack on the bed?”  Then he grabs a sword, a mask, and lets loose on his dad, making his own sound effects all the while.


He found a pair of sunglasses in his room last week and spent a day walking around like this.


Leo is so obsessed with eyewear he is either going to grow up to be an optometrist or a supervillain.


I’m not joking!


Monkey or man, limpet or owl, there’s only one thing that’s for certain:


It’s good to be a Leo.

Roasted vegetable pizza
Tomato & red pepper soup
Lemon asparagus
Gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting

Itchy and Scratchy

It has not been a banner week for me.  The kids went back to school, that part was okay (no overly soppy, tearful me for once), but I have been dealing with an itchy rash covering my stomach, back, and neck, and which is starting to creep down each of my limbs.  The rash showed up last Thursday and neither two nurses I talked to on the phone nor the entire Internet had anything helpful to say, other than hm, that’s weird.

I will spare you the pictures because yes, I have taken pictures, but will also tell you that if you’d like to see pictures of rashes, the Internet is overly ready to help out with that one.

Then I went for a run yesterday and had to pull over twice for explosive you-know-what.  Twice!  Fortunately, my run took me past several public facilities placed there just for such moments in life.  (Don’t forget to support your public library!)

I was standing at the bus stop yesterday, waiting for my neighbor to show up so I could unload all this on somebody else, and when she came up I said, “Hey, do you smell dog poop?”  We looked down to see that I was standing in a colossal, I meal colossal pile of dog poop.  Like, my entire shoe was like a hot dog nestled in a dog poop bun.

It’s just a shi**y week, I guess.

I came home desperate for a shower, feeling so dirty and disgusted by myself and all dog owners everywhere, and the minute the water hit my rashy torso, I could no longer resist the urge to scratch.  I stood in the shower for ten  minutes and scratched and scratched and scratched and came out feeling cleaner but looking like a giant hunk of wet ground beef.  That’s me.  Bringin’ sexy back.

I did make to do an IRL doctor today who took one look at my “trunk,” which is the least sexy way to describe your mid section, but that’s the word he used, and said, “Oh…I see.  I bet nothing you’ve done has made this rash feel better, right?”

“Right!” I said, glad someone finally knew something about what has been plaguing my “trunk” this past week and glad I would finally figure out how to get some relief from all this itching.

“You’ve got pityriasis rosea.  There’s nothing you can do for it.  It should clear up anywhere between 6 weeks and 3 months.”


That is the worst punch line I’ve ever heard. 

But look on the bright side!  It’s not contagious, swim suit season ended the day the rash showed up, and it probably won’t spread to my face.  Plus, now I have just 5 to 11 weeks left to wait out this virus that starts with the word “pity.”   You know, as in it’s a pity there’s not a DAMN THING I CAN DO ABOUT IT.

And now my face is itchy.

Gnocchi with browned butter sauce
Salad with grilled shrimp, orange, and fennel
Roasted vegetables

Obligatory First Day Pix

I got the boys all posed for their first day of school picture this morning.


Me: Come on, boys, smile!  What is this—the first day of school or a funeral?



Me: Well, if that’s how you’re going to be then go ahead and frown.  I can still get a good picture.



Me: Are you forgetting that one of you gets to stay home and bake chocolate chip cookies with me?



Sigh.  I guess that’s what I get for waking them up an extra half hour early to get the *perfect* back-to-school picture because I can’t just take one picture on my phone and call it good enough.  Have I ever called anything I’ve done “good enough” before?

I got the older boys to come close to almost smiling, or at least almost thinking about almost smiling, for one shot.


They’re actually all excited to go back to school; I think that just is their happy face.

But wait—no!  These are their happy faces!





Me: How about one last chance at a group shot?



Mama’s boys.

Cornbread taco bake
Carrots a la orange
Applesauce cake