Saturday, May 28, 2011

Octopus Stew

On a recent playdate at Aunt Missy's house the boys were having a field day playing outside. In the newly cut grass. After it had rained. And we found them pouring mulch and leaves and all kinds of debris into some standing water in the bucket on the back of a tricycle. Little Will had his hands up in there too with the big boys stirring and stirring with sticks. We asked what they were up to, and Joseph and Jack said "Making octopus stew!"

For those not in the know, this is a joke from the book "I'm Gonna Like Me (Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem)" by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell. "I'm gonna like me when I eat something new, even if Grandma makes octopus stew."

They were so splattered with mud and covered in grass that we needed to strip them down and hose them off before lunch. In other words, a perfect little boy playdate.

The pages from the book:

As it says, be sure to serve with rooster foot salad and snail bread. Mmm, mmm, good!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Africa Hot

I'd don't remember much about the movie "Biloxi Blues" other than Matthew Broderick's character saying "Boy it's hot. Like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot." I think of that quote often on days like today (and yesterday) when out of nowhere it shoots up into the 90's and it is just too. freaking. HOT! After Joseph rode all the way to the park, and around, and back again on his bike (by request), I made an impulse purchase at a local toy store:

Joseph called it a "fireman snake" sprinkler. Melissa&Doug call it a "Sunny Patch Grub Sprout" sprinkler. I call it "the best 20 bucks I spent this week." Pure giggles!

And squeals, when Ethan and Benjamin came over. They ran around and around and around and around.

Like I said, money well spent. The water parks need to open SOON!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paper Boy

Although things have improved slightly over time, Joe Joe is generally still an early riser. We make the best of it, and on the weekends we have a little routine: once he wakes up 1 of us will go snuggle or read books with him in bed until he asks to go play downstairs. Then he helps grind the coffee beans and turn the alarm system off. After we open the front door he asks if he can get the paper for us. He goes and gets his fireman boots from the closet and puts them on, then trots down the front walk (rats nest hair and all) and retrieves the papers while we watch from the doorway. He even knows we get 2 papers on the weekends and is sure to find them both. He carries them inside, dumps them out on the floor, and even recycles the plastic baggies.

Bu then he harasses us to play with him and doesn't actually let us read the paper until we're both up and can tag-team him.

Future career? Maybe. Worth getting up for? Absolutely.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Joseph's best friend Jack had his birthday party today - a Disney "Cars" themed extravaganza, cohosted by his preschool friend Luke's family. The town of Radiator Springs was virtually recreated by Missy and Renee to such an amazing degree that I will forever fear that my parties will fall short. I always thought I could run with a theme, but this puts me to shame. Stellar!

The moonbounce would have been enough fun for everyone, but........

.....the kids could play in all the town's famous destinations. Check out :

Sally's Cozy Cone Motel

Luigi's Casa Della Tires

Lizzie's Curio Shop
(awesome signs and license plates!)

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Ramone's Paint & Body Art Store
("Cars" tattoos!!)

And the cake was absolutely perfect!
(Thankfully I wasn't asked to make it)

With all the excitement and distractions it was heartwarming to see these 2 best buds just hanging out together having their pizza on the front steps watching everything going on around them.

It was also wonderful to spend time with my 2nd family, the Santoro's, who are always there for their grandkids (even recovering from a broken hip!).

I have no doubt today was an absolute dream come true for Jack. Happy 4th birthday Jackie!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


2 bouquets of our favorite flowers,

2 sweetheart cupcakes,

2 cocktails (oh, maybe 2 sets of 2 cocktails.....),

and the 2 of us having a phenomenal meal at Blacksalt last night,

= a perfect anniversary.
Happy 15 years to us!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Royal Icing 101

I've had a few different cookie decorating projects going on around here lately, and I've recruited some willing participants to help along the way. Joseph was happy to tint (and taste) a batch of royal icing before trying his hand at piping for the 1st time.

He studied my example and went right at it. He had a field day and got an A for enthusiasm, but his technique could use a bit more guidance and practice.

Mallory offered up her assistance when it came to prepping for Elisabeth & Larry's baby shower last week. She forgot to mention she had never held a piping bag when she volunteered to help me decorate 7 or so dozen cookies to use as favors, but turns out she has a steady hand as is a natural at both piping and flooding.

I seriously love how the onesies turned out. Just can't decide which is my favorite!

In retrospect what I really needed was help individually bagging and tying ribbon onto all those cookies. T.e.d.i.o.u.s.! Hopefully I have some converts who will love decorating cookies as much as I do!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Comparing this to Brent's work, he and I are very different gardeners. My thumb is more sweet than green.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Make your own bed

People often tell us that they think our house is adorable and has a lot of curb appeal. Is it the cottage style? The weathered brick?

Whatever it may be, Brent has had it in for the front flower beds practically from day 1. Plus the laurel bushes had taken a few hits from all our snowstorms and they also seemed to be suffering from some kind of fungus scale.

Recently there were consultations with landscape designers and frequent trips to the local nursery. Finally one day Brent declared it was time to dig in and he was just going to redo the beds himself.

And he meant business. I barely had time to get a before picture!

It was a lot of work spaced out over a few weekends, even with "help" from Joseph.

But it was well worth the effort! The man's got a green thumb and an eye for garden design.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Much to Celebrate

We had such a busy (but fun) weekend. In addition to the Flower Mart at the National Cathedral we got to enjoy much more time outdoors in the glorious spring weather we've been having. The bounce house has been up frequently with different friends reaping the benefits, and it was so lovely that we dined outside on Sunday night.

In addition to celebrating spring and all of our mothers (and on a personal note, the 600th! post on this blog), we had a special treat lined up for Joseph to celebrate the anniversary of his adoption. So much to be happy and thankful for this weekend!