Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
sabra and neil's jazz routine
jamie & hok's hummingbird dance
chelsie and mark - i can't hear this song without thinking of this dance
Katee and Will - probably one of the most amazing dances i have seen on the show
oh there is so much more and probably more to come this year! if you missed any - come on over - they are saved on our tv the whole season!
we had a lovely memorial day weekend with our santa barbara friends last weekend. the very gracious anna's parents offered up their ranch home in santa ynez and i dont think you could find a more beautiful home and property anywhere else in california! bryson had a blast too - he has been talking non-stop about the horses and chickens and the gopher that "anna tried to shoot with the gun" - he got some use out of his cowboy boots...i even bought him a matching hat to complete the look! we had such a relaxing time - waking up to roosters - thwarted runs - time with friends - AMAZING food - active campfires - feeding horses and chickens - picking onions - walking through the gorgeous vineyards - tasting wine - holding babies - playing with the dogs - more wine tasting and more amazing food - we are so grateful for our friends and how easy it is with them and because we dont see them often it makes times like these that much more special. it is so exciting that they are all procreating now too! so many babies! and the cutest babies ever to boot!
Wine tasting at Coquelicot. To Die For Chardonnay!
Eric and Julia bike riding through Los Olivos
Bryson fishing for his 2nd time at Cachuma - he didnt catch anything but we told him that we were leaving the fish in there for next time and that sated him...
and sweet jake...catching some campfire rays...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
You found your toes on our trip to Modesto - and they are pretty cool i guess because every time i put you on your back, in your mouth they go. you are pretty ticklish and mommy and daddy can get you belly laughing - brother likes to blow on your stomach and dance around you when you are in the walker to get you to laugh. Mommy loves it when he does this while she is trying to cook dinner!
We weighed you last week and you were 18 lbs 1 oz. I think your Moby days are over because i tried to carry you around while errand shopping this week and you started sinking - i had to adjust it 3 times! that's okay though because you love the Ergo just fine...in fact most of the day you are there if i have you and big brother.
you caught a little cough/cold this last month and it has thrown your sleeping way off. gone are the nights of long sleep stretches - you now wake every 3 hours max - more like every 2 hours. you also are not a fan of being alone during the night - you prefer me to hold you ALL night long...which i can't because you are so heavy you make my arm fall asleep. i am hoping this is a temporary illness thing...
you are growing so big we had to buy a new carseat because your shoulders were too big for the infant seat's belts! you have entered the awkward baby phase where you can't sit up unsupported and are too big to be carried in the infant seat, so therefore you are held constantly...which you don't mind one bit :)
we got bryson's old walker down from the garage and cleaned it up for you - which is your new favorite thing...we also like to "shop" in bryson's baby toy bin - you are fascinated with all the toys and grabbing and discovering. you also like to discover my plate every time i eat - this month we also let you taste for the first time. you aren't too sure about the whole thing, but judging by your size, we think you will catch on pretty quickly!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
i just got back from our awards and installation dinner for the Junior League of Long Beach. i almost always leave our meetings with such a sense of awe for the women in our community who so rarely get recognized, but make things happen - and by "things" i mean laws and community partnerships and projects and events and changing the lives of kids and parents. i found out that Jr League was responsible for the children's helmet law in CA among other laws - this year we have been trying to get a law passed that postpartum depression information be included in hospitals releasing women who have just had babies. i also found out that our league founded the Fire Safety House 17 years ago, which is now standard for 3rd grade students to visit to learn more about fire safety.
this year i was able to chair the project committee and it was an amazing year - partly because it was a transitional year where we attempted to find a new project - in doing so we did 3 new projects along with what we have always done with the Bethune Transitional Center. to my credit i did sign up for this BEFORE i knew i was pregnant...but to everyone's astonishment we were able to 1) paint murals in Holmes Elementary School's library and put on a literacy night for 200 students and parents that was the most successful parent night the school had seen 2) work with East LA Classics in putting on Beyond Borders, which sponsored a 5th grade class at Stevenson Elementary - the course was a literacy course that counted as language arts credit in which they wrote and acted in a series of 1 act plays that they wrote and stared in based on their true experiences 3) put on a series of classes for 5th grade girls at Stevenson Elementary called Especially Me, which focuses on young girls struggles with self-esteem, nutrition, body image, peer pressure and goal setting.
Not to mention we continued to work with Bethune and sponsored kids from the center to go to art camp at CSULB. also a canned food drive, holiday gift sponsorships, their holiday party and a year long "Meet the Masters" art program.
as you can imagine, we have had a busy year. i am going to be on the grants and partnership committee next year and look forward to learning how to write grants and also look forward to NOT having to have a leadership role :)
i have benefited so much from being a part of this organization - and nights like tonight help me to realize how much i have grown in this community and learned about Long Beach also!
part of what excited me so much about where our league is going is that when i signed up in 2004 i was the youngest member of our league and now there are so many young faces that want to see our league move in a great direction - it makes me excited to be a part of something that is going to continue to make a difference here! so...it is definitely NOT the end - Jr League is a year-long machine, but it was a great night to commemorate a great year!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
anyway...back to Hand - my wonderful machine...sometimes i speak of Hand as a male and other times as a female. its funny cause i had to take him in to get fixed and i spoke of it as a "him" and the owner of the store said that he has a client who speaks of the machine as a "her" and asked me why its a him...i told him the computer and the precise-ness makes it feel masculine to me, however when the embroidery arm is off and i am getting creative and free-flowing Hand becomes a "her" - don't ask...again...that internal dialogue that probably should never be written down...
it isn't difficult to embroider and switch modes and install the arm, however i do like embroidery projects to pile up so i can knock them out all at once - kinda like my mending pile. i started going through our camping bins and found some T.M.A.F.I. fishing vests that needed embroidering and then all of the sudden my pile was very large so off i went! Bodie was absolutely enthralled with the embroidery - he stared at it for half an hour...while i did nothing...which is why i love Hand!
i also had been meaning to make this Big Sister Cape for a little girl at the park who will be having a sibling very soon - i totally ripped off the idea and added my own sense to it. i love these capes because i use old t-shirts for the backing from my goodwill pile, and i use scraps from my scrap pile for the rest - all re-purposed. i can make one out of a man's XL t-shirt - kinda like pants...too bad my husband is a M...i am not finished with this cape and it photographed so poorly - it is so much cuter in person - it is for a little girl named Charley who like her name is so sweet and girly, but rough and tumble at the same time - i thought the fabrics fit her!
i made one for my God-Daughter Charlotte before Delia's arrival too. i am thinking of putting these up in the shop, but wanted to make one for a little boy first so i have more variety - good thing i know so many ladies having boys!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
my excitement for square foot gardening must have been apparent because i was asked to help lead a team and install a square foot garden at a needed home today.
Our church partook in Serve The City today and it was so fantastic to get out there with other members of the church and accomplish such a great thing in so little time really. we started at 9:00 and finished by 12:30 - we even didnt have a hose at the site, which slowed us down quite a bit, but we accomplished putting in 2 4x4 square foot boxes. what was cool, what ended up happening is that a ton of people in our groups (there were 3 sites total where square foot gardens went) got excited about the idea and a group was started and talks of the church farmers market was buzzing...exciting to think about/talk about and hopefully partake in!
The original site backed out, then our back-up site backed out and on wednesday i found myself calling some people i know from Jr. League and was able to find a home for our 2 boxes at PATH ventures - the new permanent residence building inside the Villages at Cabrillo. I was pretty excited to do the garden here because ever since i first read about the home's inception about 2 years ago I have been jazzed about it. The director was so excited to have the gardens and hopes that the residents adopt it, which i am not c0ncerned about since 2 or 3 of the residents asked if they could help (we had finished already unfortunately). The director gave me a tour of the facilities and i was amazed at how nice and encompassing they were- granite countertops! walk-in closets! There are 5 transitional shelters within the 26 acres at Villages at Cabrillo and I have worked with the school inside the Villages - called Bethune - for about 5 years now. The problem has been trasitioning the residents into permanent homes from the shelters and now this permanent residence helps out these families in such an incredible way.
Monday, May 11, 2009
we tried the tummy tub today. julie sent this to us - she ordered it from England to try. i like the idea of it - bathing a baby is usually awkward - i've tried bathing bodie in the plastic tub thing in the sink, in the sponge thing in the bath, in this lawn-chair like thing in the bath, while holding him in the bath and shower - all these ways are difficult to hold a wet squirmy baby and bath them at the same time. the tummy tub was definitely the easiest way i have tried to bathe him. he did keep standing up - on his own and holding onto the sides..."wait...you are WAY too little for this - quit rushing things!" i told him and then caught my breath.
it kinda looks like a plant pot. you could probably get a plant pot without a drainage hole and put a mark at 5 inches and you'd be good.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
mom - sorry...your present is going to be late...but i did want to give you a little shout out...and thank you for all that you are. becoming a mother has really made me appreciate all you have done for us kids and all that you still do for us big kids now. not only do i see myself inevitably becoming like you...i like it! booberhead slips from my mouth uncontrollably and bryan knows to pull the car over so i can read plaques everywhere and i can't help but turn every walk and time with bryson into a science lesson thanks to you. you tried to turn the normal everyday into adventures whenever possible and encouraged my creative outbursts however silly - i recall one spring day wanting to bake a cake because it was spring and you shared that excitement with me and let my whimsy take over. you laughed at my not-funny jokes and didnt laugh when i asked you not to laugh at me...even though my tantrums were probably as funny as bryson's are. you took jobs that wouldnt allow you to miss us coming home from school and gave us our personal freedom to explore who and what exactly we were. you were protective and freeing all at the same time and i thank you for that. you will forever be my mommy...which i still am very much in need of and thankful for. i love you and hope and pray i can be even half the great mother you are...not to mention as HOT as you are!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
today was an odd day from the start. i woke up fully prepared mentally and physically (clothes-wise...maybe not body wise) for a long run. my running buddy canceled and instead of running anyway like i should i kept my running clothes on because i didnt want to hassle with actually showering and i convinced myself that i could get a run in at some point in the day...ha!
it took me 2 hours to get the kids dressed and fed and clothed and my office chores done and finally i strapped them in the car seats and pulled out of the driveway to get to the post office to mail off some packages when...
i saw this guy roaming around my driveway about to dart into traffic! he was all dressed up and no leash and no owner in site. i scooped him up before he ran into traffic and looked around for his owner. he still had his bow on from being groomed!
before i go further...let me just dedicate this post to Julie - my dad's wife...who is the consummate dog-lover. she has a side job of rescuing dogs...sometimes even buying them off of homeless people...or on freeways...wherever! after hearing her 10th story of rescuing dogs i asked her "where do you find these dogs? i have never seen a stray dog before!" well - i should not have ever said that because about a year ago i met my first stray - a lab-mix ironically named "Carlie" and kept her in my backyard while the animal control people located her guardian and picked her up.
so now a year later i am here again...with a stray dog...totally not knowing what to do - should i put him in my backyard and deal with him later? should i take him with us? the only tag he had said 'Dusty' and had a non-working number on it. i called julie - she said taking him to the pound would be a good idea since that is usually the first place a dog-owner missing a dog calls. i knew this dog's owners would be calling within hours...i mean look at him!
so i took him with us...and ran a couple errands praying he was car-trained and wouldn't do anything bad while i ran into the post office...and to pick up lunch...and then i took him to the park because i couldn't find the animal shelter and we needed to eat and bryson needed to get out.
It was fun to have a little dog for the day...especially because he didn't poop while i had him...nor did he do anything naughty in my car. and bryson was happy to walk him around on his leash through the park (my cell phone charger turned into a leash).
Plus i got to see the Long Beach Animal Shelter - it was so amazing in there - the cleanest most pristine shelter i have ever seen! i took the opportunity to teach bryson about the animal shelter and what its function is...i think he got quite a bit from it...it went a little like this:
"Bryson...this is where people put animals who are lost or animals who don't have homes to find homes. They take care of the animals and people come and try to adopt them into their family. You know how we found...."
then i lost him...
the pound called me a couple hours later to let me know dusty was on his way home and his owners were so grateful...i guess the day wasnt a complete waste after all!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
1. an elementary school - to drop off flyers, etc for a class the Jr League is putting on there
2. the park - bryson actually liked that
3. to get an oil change
4. post office
5. trader joe's
6. bagel shop
7. see's candies - okay bryson liked this too, as evidenced by his chocolate sucker mouth/shirt/hands/shorts
8. back to oil change place to pick up the car
11. bryan's basketball game
needless to say...i, along with my children, are spent...i hate errand days like this, but wanted to post this to give myself encouragement that i can have a day like this and still at the end of the day look back and realize how we made it somewhat enjoyable, like telling bryson stories while he was in the shopping cart and telling myself what a workout i am getting having Bodie in the ergo for approximately 4 hours, like trying to have some alone time with Bodie after bryson fell asleep in the car and let me put him down for a nap (he did say, 'i am not tired' with his eyes clossed as i laid him down i must mention).
an older lady at the grocery store saw me and asked if my baby was a boy. "yes, another one" i said (i am paranoid that people mistake bryson for a boy with his long hair...especially old ladies) and she smiled and said, "aren't you blessed?"
yes...yes i am very blessed.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
my poor child...part 2...i already am turning bryson into the star wars geek that i was once...okay still am...i never turn down a viewing of the amazing trinity...he knows more characters than bryan and repeatedly hums the theme song at random, which makes me VERY happy.
so - sorry about that bryson - although it seems to connect with young boys everywhere...but to add insult to injury, being a huge Bowie fan, labyrinth is also a favorite movie of mine...i probably have seen it close to 100 times...and also will not turn down a viewing. when the family was in tahoe my niece and nephew, who are older (11 and 8) wanted to watch it since i brought my DVDs. i didnt know if bryson was ready for it...i guess it can be a little scary...seeing that goblins steal a baby and all...so i was ready to take him away and preoccupy him if needed. not needed. that boy is so strange. he LOVED coraline...LOVES labyrinth, but certain veggie tales scare him. not sure what its about...still havent figured it out...perhaps his fear of veggies in general are to be suspected.
so 2 amazing things have come of this. 1) we were in the car and the song "changes" came on and bryson said, "hey that sounds like jareth bowie" - i swear i didnt say anything. i swear i didnt say david bowie's name (i told him who the character jareth is in the movie - david bowie in real life) i swear i didnt say anything at all - he totally recognized it on his own, which i am still a little in awe over. and 2) after watching the movie again the other night he repeatedly said my FAVORITE line in the movie "nothing! nothing tra-la-la!" again - i did not tell him this is my favorite line (i had a conversation with bryan about it minus bryson not that long ago) nor did i repeat it after bowie said it in the movie. he continued to repeat this line approximately 40 times to the point that even i said, enough!
but i secretly smiled...
before i begin, please note the title of the post...please note it is NOT how to make beer...because that i am still trying to figure out. it is part science, part art, part cooking, part creating and there are people CRAZY into it and then there are people who just want to make good beer with no extra stuff put into it...that would be me. still before i begin, please also note that just about every step - every ingredient - every technique - every everything in beer making is HIGHLY debated. again, i explain that this is how I do it...okay...now i will truly begin
1. if you have dry yeast you need to activate it in warm water (you can also do this later if you desire - this is how i make bread, so therefore i make beer this way too)- if you have liquid yeast you need to start bringing it to room temperature. This is a Pacific Pale Ale and i am using Nottingham Ale #00394
2. Pour 2.5 gallons (i use distilled water) into your stock pot and get temp to 155 degrees. once there turn heat off and "steep" your grains (like a teabag) - In this recipe i used 1/2 lb Crystal 60L and 1/2 lb 2-Row. Steep for 25 minutes. Remove Grains after the water drains and discard grains and grain bag. Return to heat and bring to a boil.
6. At this time i put in about 1/2 tsp of irish moss (optional) to help everything settle....i am a SUPER lazy brewer and do anything i can to prevent having to use a secondary fermenter...this is a nice way to help the hops and yeast crud settle to the bottom faster.
7. Boil the wort and the bittering hops for 60 minutes. You add the flavoring hops during the last 15 minutes of the boil (mine was 1/2 oz Saaz and 1/2 oz Cluster) At the last 10 minutes of the boil i tried some yeast fuel this time - it is supposed to help fermentation happen faster...we'll see if its any worth it! At the last 5 minutes of the boil you add your aroma hops (i used 1/2 oz Saaz and 1/2 oz Cluster)
9. Once the wort is done you need to bring it down to around 80 degrees as fast as you can (best if within 15-20 min) a nice ice bath with cool water running does the trick. you can also buy a wort chiller, but it definitely isnt a MUST.
In a couple weeks time it will be ready to bottle...which is a bear of a thing to do...i will attempt to post about that when the time comes...not nearly as exciting though, except for the fact that you are one step closer to drinking it! in the meantime, save all your (brown) imported beer bottles (you need to cap them so domestic screw off bottles dont work) and do yourself a favor and clean them before you store them!