Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby.

That's right, it's KPC's birthday. I think I will be editing this post later to put in some pictures of him (but it may take a while to find just the right ones.) So for now I will just say, happy birthday to a husband who has done more for me than I ever thought to want, and a father who has surpassed my every desire, and a lover who is EXTREMELY hot stuff. ;) To get that all in one person is a pretty incredible deal-- I'm a very lucky woman.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hatrack Madness at IKEA!

Last night we had the honor and fun of making another Jatraquero Real. Actually, I thought that erosomniac was Real before, but apparently not. In any case, he became Instantly Real when he got together with us and the Meeses for dinner and chitchat and watching adorable children playing at IKEA Burbank. (eros is a very cool guy. He sent Ems a gumball machine, just 'cause he could.)

We had a fun dinner-- I pushed a round table up against a bench table so we could all sit together, something I have a feeling the IKEA workers weren't totally thrilled with, but they didn't stop me-- and I got to sit next to Mooselet. He told me several very cute stories, short and long, and proved that he is better at math than I am. I told a story, too, which Superstation later told back to me with a few changes. (At least, I am pretty sure that's what he was telling me. For someone who wasn't talking a few months ago, that kid sure can talk up a storm!) After dinner the kids all ran rampant in the toy area. It was really cool to go someplace where we could chat while they all ran around like crazy with no repercussions (well, as long as they didn't grab other kids' toys or shove.) I know I've been craving that kind of adult contact, it's nice to get it once in a while without worrying constantly about your kids' behavior (although I must say, the Moose clan has some most excellently behaved sons, and our girls aren't total terrors in public, either.)

Now I'm really looking forward to next month's shinda! I love getting together with other Jatraqueros.

Monday, December 25, 2006

That was fun!

So, Christmas weekend has been and gone. Last Wed. we kicked things off at my aunt's with an early Christmas dinner. Emma enjoyed opening presents. Then we flew into the whirlwind that was this weekend, with putting up my mom's tree and decorating it for her Saturday, church on Sunday (mostly stories being read and lots of Christmas hymns for us to sing; we had our choir and Primary Christmas program the week before), then finally getting home, trying to get everyone down for a nap (it actually worked okay) so we'd be rested for that night, then we went over to my mom's. When we got there, she wasn't there. After calling my brother's cell phone, we found out he was, and so we said, "Open the door!" "Now?" "Yes, now!" Sheesh.

We got in and Michael was supposed to be setting the table but had no clue how to do it, so I took over. I got the tablecloths on, directed Jeff on what to set out, and got the cheese and cracker plate ready. (Good thing, too, because Ems was in a grumpy mood at dinner and that's mostly what she ended up eating, besides salad, of course-- she loves salad.) My mom called and told my brother to check the chicken. He had no clue how, so I checked it, determined it was ready, put it out, and decided to start the water for the rice. My mom got home and was glad I had; it had taken her longer than she had thought it would to get done with her errand. She showed me where the olive plate and the carrots and celery were, and I got those plates ready and out, too. Then I tried to convince her to let me make gravy and she wouldn't. I was very sad. (Yes, I put gravy on my rice! So sue me!) My sister called and said she was coming, and was bringing her boyfriend, too. My mom hadn't realized how many people she was actually having; it ended up being 10 people (HS age or up) plus my kids. We got the table set and when Erin showed up she helped me toss the salad (because she felt guilty that she didn't bring anything and I wanted to make her feel included, having shown up in time to take over everything that needed doing. It was Trader Joe's Asian Salad in a Bag, which she thought was cool-- it comes with EVERYTHING that you need for the salad, you just put it in the bowl and toss.) She also helped find room for all the desserts Grandma Katie brought-- cheesecake, sugar cookies, spice cookies, AND miniature red velvet cakes! My mom's friends showed up as we were finishing everything and my darling husband was enlisted to get drinks for everyone. (I had sparkling apple cider mixed with cranberry juice, my favorite!) We had a non-denominational Blessing for the New Year which my mom read (since her friends who came are Muslim) and we all ate. Actually, I didn't eat as much or as soon as I would have liked because Bridey was STARVING TO DEATH (or so she told us.) Then it was time for presents.

Erin, Emma, and I went in the living room and started making present piles. Emma quickly caught on and helped go under the tree for the presents then handed them to me or Aunt Erin to sort. (She thought it was hilarious when she went all the way under the tree on her tummy and yelled out, "I UNDER the Kissmas tee!" To be truthful, so did we.) When they were sorted we got everyone together to open them-- fun! Maybe I'll write about what we all got later, it goes on for a long time... Emma loved the present opening, again, and every time she opened one she would bring it over and hand it to "Uncle Freddie" (my sister's long-term live-in boyfriend) for him to see! It was hilarious! She helped open Bridget's toys, too, since Bridget was happy in the playpen.

We finally made it home and Bridget crashed immediately but Emma was all wound up. When she finally fell asleep, I snuck out to fill stockings. (Santa presents were put out unobtrusively the night before.) Uh-oh! I heard little feet in the hall! I quickly killed the light and ran away from the table where the stockings were now laid out with everything on top of their respective pile. I asked what Ems was doing up. "I hear bells! Jingle bells!" Oh, no! Jeff's and my stockings have bells on the front! Yikes! I carried her back to the bed and laid down with her. I got her quiet and when she was, said I was going to go get a drink. She said she wanted some water, too. So I took her Superman straw sipper cup and went out, hastily crammed everything into the stockings, and poured some water for her and took a sip myself, so not to be a liar.

I woke up earliest the next morning, needing a bathroom trip. Then Bridget woke, so I nursed her and changed her and put her back down. When we had to do stockings or it would be too late to get to my dad's in time, I went in and woke Jeff, let him use the bathroom, and then started rubbing Emma's back and talking about how Santa came and filled the stockings. Finally, I said, "It's time for presents!" and she sat bolt upright! We carried her out and got our stockings. She wasn't sure what was her favorite-- the chocolate, the tangerine, or the Superman toothbrush and toothpaste! When we were just about done, Bridey woke, so we brought her out and gave her the things in her stocking-- a peach cup (we all got those), a small container of Cheerios for her to start on wheat, some Dutch Apple Dessert baby food (basically cinnamon applesauce), a ducky-pattern "first toothbrush" (we all got toothbrushes-- we've been cleaning her teeth with a little gum and tooth cleaner thing, but she's starting to chew our fingers) and a teether rattle. She was happy with everything, of course. Then we did presents (again, we'll leave details for later, if anyone wants them.)

Then over to my dad's. We had to wait around while my dad finished cooking and my brother was picked up by Jeff, but there was hot spiced cider for me and orange-tangerine juice in a Sesame Street cup for Ems, and Bridey could crawl around, so it wasn't so bad. We all sat down for a huge brunch: leftover ham from their dinner the night before, kugelis (Lithuanian potato "pudding", kind of like a potato kugel, but with bacon and topped with sour cream!), home-baked scones with currants, with Devonshire clotted cream and fresh-chopped strawberries or strawberry jam (the jam was actually my request, I prefer it to the fresh strawberries) to go on top, scrambled eggs (with ketchup for me, of course) and of course fresh tangerine segments. My, it was delicious! My dad does the best brunches. I drank sparkling cider, then orange-tangerine juice, then back to sparkling cider. Then we went out to the living room while my dad did dishes; soon we were sorting presents. Some friends showed up as we were about to open them (old friends-- we all met when I was in Brownies) and didn't mind sitting around and watching (and holding Bridey for us!) as we opened them. We all had a great visit and soon were exhausted and ready to go home. Jeff ran me home with Bridey then went back to get Michael and run him to my mom's. Of course, my mom wasn't home and Mike didn't have a key. So Jeff took him along as he ran to the store for some onions and Anaheim peppers for my chili the next day (and then to a different store because the first one was out of Anaheims.) Emma slept in the car (good, because she was really wound up and needed a nap-- she actually told me at my dad's house, when I chastened her for something, "Mommy, I just all wind up!" She's so cute.) Michael ended up going back to my dad's for a while. Then Jeff came home with Ems. We had Jack-in-the-Box for dinner because they were open and neither of us was even up to opening a can of something for dinner after our whirlwind two days of Christmas!

So that was Christmas. Hope all of yours was good! I'll try to keep up on the rest of my blogging this week, but don't know if I'll make it all within a reasonable time, so please bear with me.

Happy Christmas, Everyone.

More to blog about later, but wanted to wish everyone a happy Christmas. Have a good one. Make it a year you remember.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hooray for Bridey!

She just sat up unassisted and unsupported for the first time! (Okay, it was a little more like kneeling, but she wasn't leaning on an arm or the playpen!) Yay for Bridey!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Got it! *waves card wildly*

Remember me telling in my Thanksgiving post about the jell-o salad? My favorite part of holiday meals? The one I adore and have been asking for the recipe for for years? Well, I got my grandma's Christmas card today and inside was a note saying, "Here's the recipe you wanted. I left one at your mom's but didn't know if you got it." (NO, I didn't, thanks a lot, Mom!) And inside was a card with the recipe! Some of the ingredients are different than I expected, but it looks easy and I know it's wonderful! So here we are:

Grandma Norma's Jell-o Salad
(aka "Cranberry-Apple Salad")

1 3-oz. package cherry gelatin
3/4 c. boiling water
1 8-oz. carton cherry yogurt
1 16-oz. can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 small sweet apple, diced
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Dissolve gelatin in water. Refrigerate and let start to jell (about 1 to 2 hours.) Mix in other ingredients, before gelatin is completely set. Refrigerate until set (about another 3 to 4 hours.)

Then send some my way. :D *does a happy dance*

Monday, December 18, 2006

It really IS a once in a lifetime kind of thing... I took the plunge and committed.

See, it's really hard for me to get to the Temple when pregnant, or with a nursing baby. Long story short, I've only been a few times since I was about 5 months pregnant with Emma-- and then I was pregnant with Bridget, and had moved further from the Temple (well, actually, different Temple, but longer drive time. The drive time here makes it at least a 5-hour commitment to go, while it was a 15-minute drive each way plus the length of the session in Dallas) and with a less-available babysitter (my mom is our only babysitter; she works more than full-time. My mother-in-law was our previous babysitter, she worked part-time and was happy to watch Emma for an evening during the week while we went.) Then I was nursing Bridget. Long story shorter, I haven't been in, oh, more than a year...

Yes, I feel guilty about this.

But in January (the 20th, to be exact) our stake is having a special, special meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the year of the dedication of the Los Angeles Temple. We get to use the Assembly Room, which I saw when we were sealed, it's so huge and it's really cool, and they're working hard to get all active endowed members of the stake who are physically capable (and some who had been less-active, who we've been working on getting to come back) to go.

And the stake has been asked to provide a 50-voice choir.

That cinched it for me. When am I going to get another chance to sing in the Temple?

I'd been working on getting my mom to watch the kids already (it's hard to get her to commit so early in advance, especially when it will be pretty much an all-day thing), but now I will go even if she can't. (My husband, who is wonderful, has made this possible by telling me that if my mom can't watch the kids, he will stay home with them. Of course, I will try my very hardest to convince my mom to watch them, but if she can't, although I will miss him, I will accept his sacrifice and go-- before the choir came up I was thinking of sending him without me if my mom couldn't watch the kids, which is what I have done before, but never for an occasion so special.)

I'm so excited. We are singing the Mark Wilberg arrangement of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." We had our first run-through last night, and what can I say but, "Wow." They needed more first sopranos, so I moved up there, even though I'm naturally a second (since I can hit those notes; I have a three-octave range.) (High "A" above the high "C" is the highest note in the piece.) I was just bowled over by the music-- and the fact that I am sure when we sing it in the Temple it will be the most amazing singing experience of my life, and I have a feeling that there will be a choir of angels backing us up.

Of course, I'm feeling anxious too because it's been so long, I am sure I will forget what to do, where to go... I think I will enlist a sister who I am comfortable asking for help to be my helper, tell me where to go, stand next to me and help me if I look like I need it, like my mother-in-law did as my "escort" when I was first endowed. And I'm sure the temple workers will be very sweet and helpful, too, they always are. There you have it; I am making the commitment now, in the semi-public atmosphere of my blog, to humble myself and ask for help.

*bounce* And that anxiety all pales in comparison of the fact that I get to sing in the Temple! Wow!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I know I haven't been blogging much this past week, including keeping up on reading all your blogs. I've had a bit of a virus and a lot of stress. Yesterday I was just starting to feel a little better, when wouldn't you know it, I got Mittelschmerz (approx. pronunciation MIddle-shmertz.) This comes with full-on PMS mood swings and misery for me. Luckily I don't get it every month, and it's not as bad as the severe ovulation pain I had a couple of months ago. Just humongously uncomfortable. So I will probably be out of it for another day or two until some of these hormones clear out. Sorry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oh, I feel stupid.

So I figured out the problem.

Turns out it was (kind of) my fault.

It's fixed now. I will be back to commenting on your blogs shortly.

You may all make fun of me now.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The reason I haven't commented on your blog... that Blogger hasn't let me. :(

I switched to the beta, and all was well-- until some time last week. I am able to comment on some blogs and not others, and I don't know exactly why. At least half the blogs over there on my favorites list are affected. I get a message saying that they know about the issue and are working on it every time I try to post a comment on any of those blogs.

It makes me frustrated and sad because 1) you all have had cool posts lately and 2) I have had cool comments, which I have been unable to share.

I sure hope this is resolved soon, or I'm gonna have to go down there and kick some bottom, Mommy-style.