Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

I am not a slacker mom. I braved the mall on Christmas Eve and was duly rewarded.

I hope Santa was good to you too! We are stretching out the holiday like a Stretch Armstrong doll of old. Chris opened his presents on Christmas morning. But the rest(Kyle and Erin)waited until Wednesday evening when Kyle came home from his holiday with his Dad. And tomorrow we head down to Santa Cruz for an extended weekend and Christmas with the in-laws.

And look here - another gift for you. There should be more matching outfits in 2008! Enjoy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas! Do you have a tissue?

I don't know when it started but there are certain Christmas carols that I can't sing along with without crying. Silver Bells, White Christmas and Little Drummer Boy come to mind. And Little Drummer Boy is the worst - that one has been working me since I was a little kid. I'm not sure what it is, but about half way through my voice starts to crack and the next thing you know the tears are rolling down my cheeks. Kyle of course finds this highly amusing. It's the only time he will actually encourage me to sing. And I am that person who puts on the All Christmas Carols All The Time radio station in the car. Kyle would complain but he knows the alternative is NPR and he would endure an endless loop of the High School Musical CD if he didn't have to listen to the stupid news every day. He really does suffer. And no, we don't have that CD, but I've threatened. And that kid doesn't know how good he's got it. I don't sing loudly in public. But my dad did. All year long.

And when I was a kid, lo so many years ago, we watched the Bing Crosby Christmas Special every year. And I remember seeing this duet with Bing and David Bowie in '77 - loved it then and love it now. Enjoy!

And sing along. At the top of your lungs! Until the kids promise to clean their rooms just to get you to stop! Ho Ho Ho. Good times.

And a Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Dawn - Santa's favorite elf (where do you think the name elfini came from?!)

p.s. Remind me next year to ask Santa for some water-proof mascara in my stocking.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas came early this year

Last month Chris remodeled of our home office. He got rid of his desk and built a 2 person desk the length of the far wall. My printer and cabinet of drawers divide the space into His and Hers. And with the man on a mission, I got my Christmas presents early!

We have been promising Kyle that we would set up his computer downstairs on the homework desk for ages now. (“His” computer meaning my old Dell from the time before Chris) We also needed to get me a computer of my own as I was hogging Chris’s machine, affectionately called "our" computer, with all my photo work. And not only was I hogging all the computer time, I was bitching about said computer. Loudly. To anyone who would listen. Because Chris’s computer is old and slow and just couldn’t handle my photo editing software or the amount of photos I was storing on the hard drive. The computer would constantly lock up causing much cursing. It would take me forever just to edit a few pictures. There was much unhappiness. And there was talk of a laptop and monitor. But then in one of those manna from heaven moments – we were sent home from Santa Cruz with one of the in-law’s extra computers. (The move of their permanent residence to Santa Cruz where they already had the weekend place produced a lot of ‘we have 2 of these now – take this home.’ Ask me about all my new kitchen gear!) And suddenly we had enough machines for everyone. And without the cost of a laptop to worry about, Chris splurged on my new monitor!
Behold! The Samsung SyncMaster 245BW.

Oh yes, it is the Maserati of monitors and I couldn’t be happier!
And to bring the computer up to speed, Chris ordered a new video card, added a gig of memory and a second extra large hard drive. And my computer goes vroom. I can now get through a batch of photos in no time! Life is good!

I think Chris would put it this way:

New monitor and graphics card… $$$.$$
Chair, floor mat and mouse… $$$.$$
Getting her off my computer… Priceless

Friday, December 14, 2007

Catch up on your reading the movies.

I finished reading Charlie Wilson’s War a couple months ago. And now it’s going to be a movie. I feel so hip and happening, wow and now.

I first heard about the movie on Thanksgiving Day when Chris saw a preview on TV. He said Tom Hanks was in it. Tom Hanks as Charlie Wilson?? At first I just couldn’t see it. But slowing I started to warm to the idea. And then I watched the preview online and yes - Tom Hanks as Charlie. It works. And Julia Roberts as Joanne, the Texas Socialite? Well that works too. I’m still not completely sold on Philip Seymour Hoffman as CIA-man Gust but I’m keeping an open mind.

And this morning on NPR's Fresh Air, they aired a previously recorded interview with the author George Crile (he passed away last year) and another one with Charlie Wilson from ’03. Take a listen – very interesting stuff.

Strange, I just googled Charlie Wilson’s War so I could create some links for you, and I found this quote from The Chicago Sun-Times regarding the Golden Globe nominations:

"Charlie Wilson's War,'' the much-hyped satire starring Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (opening next Friday), led the pack in comedy/musical categories -- snaring five nominations, including a nod for best actor to Hanks and supporting actress to Roberts."

Comedy/Musical category? Really?! Will we see the mujahedeen form a chorus line and start singing the praises of Allah and the Oerlikon while congress does the Can-Can?

God I hope so.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

In Local News~

When your baby needs a Christmas stocking where do you turn? Local artisan Katie Jean! I saw her Celebration Stockings on her new blog and knew I had to have one for Erin. So, I went over to Katie’s house and pawed through her fabrics, finally made a choice (she's lucky I had a time limit and had to go pick up Kyle), and a few days later, voilĂ ! Erin’s stocking!

A closer view of the fabric:
Too cute!

I met Katie while she was vending at Kyle’s school’s Harvest Festival – where I saw this lap blanket: How could I resist?! I couldn’t. And Erin has been chewing on it - I mean loving it - ever since. And it turns out that Katie lives on the street behind me. Howdy neighbor! And she invited me to the open house she had in October, where I met more neighbors. And I scored an invitation to the neighborhood cookie exchange party. Have cookies will party. So I was suddenly faced with baking cookies. 6 dozen cookies. And it was Cook’s Illustrated’s Holiday Baking issue to the rescue. The weekend before the party we were in Santa Cruz so I enlisted P (mother-in-law most extraordinaire) to help me make some sample batches. So we baked.

We made Sugar Cookies: And Italian Almond Macaroons:
So I felt relatively prepared to tackle this whole baking thing solo the next Saturday. In fact, I felt so confident in my abilities (ok, all my bravado was hinged on my trust in Cook’s Illustrated to get me through it) that I decided to make a variation on the Italian Almond Macaroons. So without a net but with my apron on, I made 3 batches of Fudge Almond Macaroons!

And they were good. And the party was fun. And I now have a container FULL (ok, half full) of 14 different kinds of cookies in the freezer. Come on over. Bring milk.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Elfini lives!!!

Elfini. It's not just a name - it's an adventure.

Click here because it's damn funny! And turn your speakers on.

Hey - you see the tall one? Second from the left? She's 8 months old today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'tis the season be busy. I'm printing photos for Christmas cards, deckin' the tree, doing laundry (always doing laundry), and the baby is going to be waking up any time now. So for now just a quick hello and a little gift. Something to help you get in the mood.

Julie gave us her version of the holiday spirit. Well Little Miss Bad Home Cooking, I'll see your Bourbon Balls and raise you these!

Classic. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without 'em.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Alert the media

The bean is crawling.

Pray for us.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


After a long hectic week at work, full of meetings that meant schmoozing, 8 hour days, and high elevation shoes, I had a stressful meeting of my own last Friday afternoon. A woman from the Library Art Committee came by the house to look at my photographs. Thankfully I had been too busy worrying about falling off my shoes all week to stress about it too much. I had hoped to put a presentation of some sort together, but I never had a chance. So after laying Erin down for her nap, I pulled a few of my photos of the walls as examples of my matting and framing. And I laid out some of the photographs I already had printed. And even though I felt completely unprepared, the meeting went well. We talked and she looked through my prints and ended up choosing photos from the original set I had submitted for consideration. So, all that to say that I am going to have 2 photographs hanging in the Twelve Bridges Lincoln Public Library! And they will be part of the library's permanent art collection. How cool is that?!!!

These are the 2 she selected:

The first one is a tile shop in Rosarito, Mexico. The second photo is the side door at The Buttery in Santa Cruz. Not a bad way to start the weekend eh? But because the universe is always seeking harmony, my joy was short lived.

Yesterday evening I made a startling discovery. Aries are bad! I know, I was surprised too. After all Aries are a fellow Fire Sign – very compatible with Leos. I’ve always had good experiences with Aries. Hell, I married one. But these encounters have all been with adult Aries. Apparently the Aries baby is an altogether different beast.

First you’ve got a baby. Babies have no self-control, are just beginning to learn about cause and effect, don’t yet understand that their little razor teeth can rend flesh from bones. Then you have Aries. The Ram. What do rams do besides scamper about the narrow ledges on a mountain face? (Hi Chris!) They butt heads!

And apparently our baby Erin is the uber-Aries Baby.

Check out exhibit A: That is some forehead. And Erin’s first and preferred method of showing affection is the forehead to forehead press. Which can be quite sweet when you see her coming and she’s moving slow. But if she catches you off guard – watch out! I’ve already gotten a split lip. And last night she caught me on the bridge of the nose. She didn’t even hit me that hard, but damn… I was seeing stars. I now understand what it means to have ‘your bell rung’. I must say, I don’t like it. I was still dazed when I went to bed.

So, consider this fair warning to all you little head butters –if you give your mommy a concussion, good luck keeping your name off the black market baby listings.