Monday, July 30, 2007

Camping trip

Bee & his daddy went on a quick overnight camping trip last Friday. M's friend & his five year-old son went along. I missed out on that trip -- I was in New York on business. You don't want to hear any more about my trip -- it was from hell. But here are some camping pictures:


I guess it started raining while they were cooking dinner & pretty much didn't stop all night long. Watching a movie on the laptop is apparently what you do nowadays when it rains on a camping trip. That was not an option back when I was a kid...

"Daddy, watch me!" I wasn't even there, and I can guarantee you this is what he was saying as this picture was taken. Climbing rocks is one of the Bee's favorite things to do in the whole wide world, and is the main reason he likes to camp.

The perfect photographic expression of the Bee's normal state of being:


I passed this sight just east of Berthoud this morning:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Totally unnecessary!

Last night we were all in the car on our way home from a Rockies game (the Bee's first...he was more into the peanuts, cotton candy & four-year old boy in the seat in front of him than he was the game...oh well, I was more into talking to the woman next to me about her adoption from Nepal and can't say that I watched so much as five minutes of the game, so I can't really say much, can I?), and I told M that I'd recently lost five pounds. Not that I have a whole lot to lose, but I've had an excess 6-7 pounds hanging around since the Bee was born that I just can't seem to shake. So anyway, the Bee overhears part of this from the backseat, and pipes up with his oft-repeated "What did you say Mommy?"

Me: "I was telling Daddy I'd lost five pounds."

Bee: "But what does that mean?"

Me: "Well, you know how you're 31.5? That's 31.5 pounds. It's what you weigh." [Bee is very into weighing himself, and wants to get on the scale nearly every day. Fortunately, he's not worried by the fact that he hasn't gained an ounce since his three-year check-up in January. Can't say the same for me...] "I was telling Daddy I've lost five pounds."

Bee: "Oh. So how much do you weigh now?"

Me: "130.5." [Yep, I've just announced my weight to the world. Yippee freakin' skippy.]

Bee: "Whooooooooaaa!!!!"

M: [while laughing uncontrollably] "You've gotta put THAT in your blog!"

Totally unnecessary.

Monday, July 23, 2007

UPDATED - Oh yeah, I'm THAT kind of neighbor!

UPDATE: It's 8pm on Monday night, and I hear a weedwacker in the yard behind ours! They've actually been out there for two hours. Yep, that's how bad it was. I can no longer see the 8-foot weeds sticking up above our fence! Hurray!!!!!

I've been battling thistle in our backyard ever since we moved in to this house-- for four summers. It's never a problem in the front yard, just in the back. Well, in the last week or so, I've noticed the tops of some thistles sticking up from the yard of the house behind us. Mind you, I'm seeing them over the top of our SIX FOOT FENCE, and their house is downhill from us. I started thinking about it, and I realized those suckers must be seven or eight feet tall! What are they feeding them? Thistle steroids?!! No wonder we have so many thistles in the backyard.

Well, I got sick of watching the down drift off the tops of these doped up thistles into my backyard, so I decided to conduct a stealth attack. I got out the ladder and my clippers, and climbed up there to lean over the fence and chop off the tops of the really big ones. And this is what I saw:

Holy. Sheeeeet. This picture really doesn't do it justice. It looks like it freakin' snowed back there, there's so much thistle down. The whole backyard, covered with thistles. The baby ones are two feet tall. It used to be all juniper on that hillside, then a year or two ago they took it all out. Then never did anything with that slope. And what does thistle love? A hot, dry bed of dirt with no other foliage to disturb it. The thistle has moved in and taken over. And allllllll that down is going to blow into my backyard. The neighbors to their south also border our backyard, and it doesn't look much better over there. Why didn't they just leave the junipers?! It's the perfect lazy man's landscaping.

So what did I do? I called the city & made a complaint. They're going to give them a ticket, and if they don't fix it within seven days, the city will hire a contractor to do it and bill the homeowner. Sure, I could've gone and knocked on their door, but I'm a little scared of them. Not just because their backyard is a trash heap, but also because they have dogs that they are not kind to. I'm afraid of people who aren't kind to their pets. I'm afraid they'll hurt me too. Uh-oh. What have I started here? Oh well. At least I won't have to dig 75,000 thistles out of my backyard this fall.

What's for dinner?

Vegetable quiche, tossed salad, and lemonade. OK, so it's not lemonade, it's a margarita. I had a hard day! I may just go have another.

"What's a quiche? Egg pie, you say?!!" (He did eat it. He eats everything.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Really? Already?!

We've had our first threat to run away. Yes, the Bee has said he's going to run away and go live at M & M's house. Why? Because they're allowed to play with guns. "The playing kind, not the eating kind" (there is some confusion over the difference between "gun" and "gum" going on here...). We went to their house on the 4th of July, and the Bee discovered the joys of squirt guns. Then just a few days later, a friend at his preschool had a birthday & brought each kid a goodie bag. Thankfully, the teachers put this up for parents to check out, rather than giving it to the kids...we left the bubble gum and the toy gun at school. (side note: WHO THE HELL gives bubble gum and guns to three year-olds?????) So the end result of my roundabout story: the Bee has developed a fascination with guns.

We've just explained it with "M and M's parents have different rules than we do. We just don't have guns in our house." This is something I've found myself saying a lot lately. "No, you can't ride standing up in the back seat of the car like Christopher does. I have different rules than his mommy does." or "No, you can't play in the street like Andrew does. I have different rules than his mommy does." Well, apparently he likes the rules M&Ms' parents have better than ours. Or at least that's what he told me.

We've also had a very brief conversation about how guns can hurt people -- give "blood owies" -- and only policemen should have them. He's not buying it.

But seriously, he's already threatening to run away at age 3.5? God help us when he's a teenager.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thank You Mary!

This was the last month of the secret pal gift exchange for our DTC group. I can't believe a whole year has gone by! Each month there's been a theme, and some mystery person from the group has sent us a gift for our daughter to go along with the theme. This month's theme was "The Nursery," and since it was the last exchange in the program, the pals revealed themselves to each other. It turns out mine was Mary H! Mary has been so very thoughtful and generous over the last year. Our daughter has a large collection of toys to start off with, as well as jammies, hair pretties, socks, dishes, decorations for her room, a tea set, and more. Ben has gotten a couple of gifts just for him too, like a t-shirt identifying him as "the big brother" in Chinese and English. And this month, there was a special gift just for me! A very pretty-smelling set including lotion, shower gel and sugar scrub.

Here's this month's gift:

The Bee and I will paint the wall art to match the room. There's also a super-cute purple fleece blanket with appliques of butterflies and flowers, backed with pink fleece, a scrapbook, and a spa gift for me!

Mary, thank you for being so kind to my family over the past year!

I'm off to bathe the Bee, then myself. My bath is going to include a glass of wine and a luxurious sugar scrub.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What made me laugh today

Today we went to the "wakarium." Some people call it an aquarium. The Bee touched a stingray, something he is very proud of.

M tells me that this morning he & Bee were watching cartoons. A bunch of cartoon animals were throwing cream pies at each other. Some animal threw a pie in the face of a cartoon chicken, and Bee looked at his daddy & very matter of factly said, "Chicken pot pie."

Monkeys at the zoo

This is what we do when they're really, really naughty:

Just kidding. They got in there all on their own, I swear. They were trying to escape "the monster," aka Kenai. The girls are friends visiting from Kansas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Could there be hope?!

Hope that we're nearing the end of the terrible ones, twos and threes, that is (anyone who tells you it's just the terrible twos is LYING!).

Today the Bee came home with this little note written at the bottom of his daily activity sheet: B. solved a problem with N. They both wanted the swing, and after a minute or two of screaming at each other, B. stopped and said 'We could take turns. That would be nice.' Could it be that something we've said has actually sunk in?! Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Lord, I hope so.

Of course, his teacher also mentioned when I ran into her in the parking lot that he bit someone today. But apparently "it wasn't very bad." Not bad enough that he got an 'incident report' at least. One step forward, two steps back.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What's for dinner?

So tonight M asked me "Why do you keep taking pictures of our dinner & posting it on your blog?" Well, first of all, this is only the second time I've done it, so I don't necessarily agree that I "keep taking pictures of our dinner..." Second, sometimes our dinners are exceptionally pretty, especially when served outside on bright blue plates. Also, maybe it'll be useful someday when I can't think of what the hell to make for dinner (this happens quite often). I can just look back at the blog. It'll be like a visual cookbook. Maybe the "What's for dinner" post will be a new Monday regular thing, since Mondays are non-work days for me & I usually have the time to make something more involved than pasta for dinner.

So tonight it was grilled porkchops (thanks Christie for the idea), avocados with a little salt, spinach sauteed in olive oil & garlic with a little rice wine vinegar, and my new spin on caprese salad -- chopped tomatoes, basil, fresh mozarrella, & cucumber with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed black pepper and kosher salt.

The little Bee, eating his dinner:

The aftermath:

So what did you have for dinner?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Something smells fishy

The Bee went on his first fishing trip this morning. Apparently he & his friend Bashi caught about a dozen fish between them! Nobody around them was catching anything. They all kept coming over to ask what their secret bait was. Must've been beginners' luck.

UPDATE: The Bee insisted that we had to eat that fish last night for dinner. I don't care for trout, and even if I did, that thing had been sitting out for hours by dinner time. I snuck to Costco and bought a nice piece of halibut, and we made fish tacos last night. We never actually came right out & said it was his fish that we were eating, so it's not like we lied to the poor kid...During dinner, he announced that the next time he went fishing, he wanted to throw them all back in "because fish don't like to be eaten."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The wound fingee

This morning at breakfast, the Bee looked at me and asked, "Mommy, what was that wound fingee [round thingee] Michael gave me to eat yesterday?" I wasn't sure, so I asked some questions: "Where did he get it?" "He lifted me up and I took it off the plate." "What did it taste like?" "Yummy." This wasn't getting us anywhere, so I said I didn't know. Surprisingly, there was no fit of rage.

Some time went by, maybe 15 minutes or so. Obviously he'd been thinking about this. So he said, "Mommy, c'mere. I wanna show you something that looks like that wound fingee Michael gave me to eat yesterday." He said it was "in the gween box downstaiws." Well, this time I knew what he was talking about. These are the bins where we keep art supplies:

The green one on the bottom is where I keep my stuff (the bins are heavy & he can't lift them, so I'm hoping my non-washable paints are safe from him there). I lifted the top two for him, and he went through the green one but came up empty-handed. "Maybe it's in the red one?" I asked. He nodded, and I lifted up the top one so he could go through the red one. He pawed around in there, shaking his head, then his face lit up, and he held up this, saying "It looked like this mommy!"

Anyone want to guess what the round thing was that he ate last night? I'll give you a hint: we were at a 4th of July potluck. It's something that pops up at nearly every potluck I've ever been to, in the appetizer section. Anyone?

OK, I'll tell you. Unfortunately I don't know what they're called, but you take a tortilla, spread stuff on it, then roll it up & slice it. It looks exactly like that "wound fingee!" Anybody have a recipe for these? Apparently the Bee likes them quite a bit.

And how smart was that, figuring out how to give me the clue I needed to figure out what he was talking about?!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The cuteness is killing me!

I may have a problem. An intervention may be in order. Someone stop me!!! I can't stop buying girl clothes. And my mom's just as bad. AND some friends are giving us boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs tomorrow, and their little girl is always beautifully dressed, so I'm sure it will be wonderful stuff. This little girl is going to be able to wear a different outfit every day, and always be dressed to kill.

I'm not just shopping like a madwoman; I do have a strategy. First of all, it has to be so cute I just can't stand it. I try to convince myself not to buy it: "C'mon. You know they'll still be making stuff this cute when the JellyBelly actually gets here." If that doesn't work, then I'll buy it, but only if it's at last half-off. And I usually buy a 2T (although I've started buying a few 3T things lately, like the darling yellow top below). That way, I am reasonably certain it won't be too small, and the season doesn't matter much since kids generally wear that size for most of a year at least (the Bee is still wearing some 2Ts at age 3.5). So you see, it's not totally crazy.

My latest purchase, off the super-duper sale racks at Nieman Marcus Last Call:

Some of my other favorites:

You can't really tell from the picture, but this one is a little cotton peacoat:

Sigh. Now if only I had my little girl to dress up in all this finery. Soon, but not soon enough.

Monday, July 2, 2007

What's for dinner?

Mmmmmm. Skirt steak, rubbed with a paste of olive oil, garlic (lots), kosher salt and coarse black pepper, left to marinate for a few hours, then grilled; a homemade white BBQ sauce to dip it in; steamed carrots and broccoli; corn on the cob. A nice cool glass of pinot grigio/a cold beer/a frosty cup of milk (depending on who you ask). Eaten outside, of course, especially since it's at least 15 degrees cooler out there than in our un-air conditioned house (a.k.a. oven). What did you have for dinner?

The Bee likes his corn on the cob:

What Kenai did while we ate (right at this moment, he's locked up in his crate -- he tried to snag leftover steak off the counter, right in front of me!!):

And the Bee joined him after dinner:

The view from our back patio tonight (it's really pretty after dark; not so pretty on the days when Denver has a bad brown cloud):

And on a totally unrelated note: when I got to preschool to pick up the Bee at the end of the day, he was wearing a different shirt & shorts than what I'd sent him in. (I guess they'd put the hose in the sandbox to make a mudpit, and every kid in the class needed a wardrobe change.) They were both inside-out. And his sandals were on the wrong feet. And as I discovered later, when I helped him undress, his underwear was on inside-out. Hmmmm...I wonder if he dressed himself at preschool?!