Monday, March 29, 2010

more freezer paper stenciling...

I've made a few more shirts since my first stint at freezer paper stenciling

The Mr. Burns shirt was for my brother.
I used this image (from a google search):

And a green tee from Target. (I've since become a regular at Goodwill and there are gazillions of t-shirts there that would work for this and also for this (will try when I get back, yay!)

Then I added the word, 'excellent' and voila.

I then decided that Owen's artwork was what made me the happiest so now his creations adorn tee's for...

his grandpa Bart's bday gift. That's Owen on the front (according to Owen) and...

Eve (from Wall-E) on the back. O decided to give her ears even though she doesn't really have ears...:)

And then he made this camel...

which is now on a tee for his dad...

Check out little mermaid and spiderman:

In case you're not sure which balloon went with who:

We went to Old Spaghetti Factory the other night and I've got nothing but good things to say about that place. Some dear friends had their rehearsal dinner there many, many moons ago but other than that I hadn't really been there. And, while my dinner was forgettable it was totally adequate (whole wheat noodles with marinara). But man-o-man is that place kid friendly. Super friendly staff, timely service, kid menu, the food wasn't on-fire-hot for the kiddos, and we had a table right next to a window overlooking the river. We saw two golden eagles fly down, talons extended to grab fish and, as they dove down, a bald eagle flew past. Whoa! Then the balloon guy came and made their night.

When Maya got her mermaid...
she exclaimed (within earshot of a five table radius), 'this mermaid has big boobs! her needs a bra.' 
Ahhh, Maya!

These are of her getting ready for "work"...

Last week was spring break so Woody took a day off to watch them since their preschool was closed and I had to work.

They made lots of tunnels and caves like these. Woody also cooked me a super yummy tofu, vegan dinner which was super swell of him and also, very delicious. He used thai rice sticks, and sambal oeleck, and sriracha, daikon radish, and all sorts of stuff I would have thought would cause him trouble. Truly delish. We're rethinking who should stay home with the kids and who should work full-time. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


When one is about to embark on a trans-Atlantic adventure with one's hubby (and an unhealthy supply of curiously flavored Pop-Tarts for one's uber-cute, American-food-missing niece) but without the two little beings one has spent virtually every second of their lives with, there's bound to be a little clamoring, a bit of fracas, and some serious hubub in preparation of said adventure. Right?

Plus, 'one' is me so that automatically ups the frenzied-factor. 

And, in the midst of all this uh, excitement, I may or may not have been listening to this:

(IF SO, sweet timing and thanks for the lunar fidelity, body)

And, uh, also, I may or may not have contemplated taking down a half dozen of these.

[IF SO, I (probably) spared myself 4,000+ calories and added frozen strawberries to this instead - score! Super delish.]

But I was definitely moved to tears watching both Modern Family (so funny and so poignant) and Jim and Pam go through labor, have their baby, and go thru lactation on The Office last week. 

Emotions are definitely at an all-time-high!

[I'd apologize for the excessive hyperlinks here but I'm on a rant, keep up!]

At family night last night (this is when all four of us go to Costco to stock-up and then eat dinner for $5 total:), I stood holding the 'no added sugar' and the 'original' hot chocolate mix, trying to decide which one was worse (they're both bad but OM turned up their noses in disgust to the organic, fair trade hot cocoa I bought from TJ's). 

'No added sugar' added sucralose (Splenda) for sweetness (not quite as bad as aspartame and saccharin, but still) and the 'original' added sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids and the dreaded HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) for sweetness. Hmmm.

I hadn't even gotten to the price difference when Woody had to intervene. For pete's sake Swiss Miss, just add agave nectar and make my life easier! I just want OM to have enough hot chocolate while I'm away...sheesh!

So, T minus 1-week 'til departure and now I'm trying to be a calm, mindful mama for my sweet cherubs to displace my worrying ways. 

[I finally watched last week's LOST episode last night and in it Sawyer/James was watching part of Little House on the Prairie and, in a nutshell, Pa tells Laura not to worry so much (in his very reassuring Pa-way). Thanks God and universe for that. You sent the right messenger. :)]

Alright, so I'll try and zip my pie-hole regarding further travel issues.

And I'll leave you with some killer footage of Owen getting his karate on (I'm sure his Uncle Jason aka, Sensei, will be proud:) and Maya drawing her hopscotch court as she goes...

Monday, March 22, 2010


Check out our fun day @ OMSI today...
O's karate chops and M screaming gleefully; everyday sightings around here...
flying balls...

a little water play...
this is the house Maya built:
this is O's:
and then one big monster house...

They make the best playdough; here's the recipe if you want to try it. I especially like the glitter and it's super soft without leaving your hands greasy or paint-y. I guess you need a microwave to make their version. Ours broke about a month ago and we were thinking we'd live microwave-free but I don't know, this is some pretty great p'dough...
Not sure if anything was actually magnified for her...
more ball play in the turbine hall...
I kind of can't get over how enormous she looks here. Where'd my toddler go?
And, yes, I realized O's shirt was on backwards but it was just easier to keep movin' this morning...

and, a view of pdx and the willamette from OMSI...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

la nourriture francais

We're headed to French speaking parts soon and I'm kind of freaking out. A) because I don't speak French and B) because Woody is reading this book (about eating in Paris, thanks Ash) and keeps telling me that I'm always supposed to say 'bonjour' to everyone and not to ever, never touch anything, to only point at what I'd like. And, if I'm offered a plate of cheese there are very specific cutting techniques and good grief a million ways me and my uncool American-ness will offend Parisians and other French-speaking folk.

[We will have had four days with my bro and family in S'land before we go to Pah-ree, so I'm hoping they give us a crash course on speaking French and being cool. :)]

We watched this show last night (Woody typed the word 'Paris' into our DVR and a whole bunch of shows came up; we have two on the Louvre next) and it looks like food in Paris is a tad pricey. He showed us a $1,000 (not sure if it was Euro or $) plate of duck and a similarly priced truffle. A single truffle. David Lebovitz's blog devotes a section to vegetarian restaurants in Paris so we'll try and focus on those. I've almost cut out cheese and dairy entirely from my diet (not at all easy, even when you're diligent) but I cannot wait to eat some tasty cheese. And my friend Season says this is the best ice cream in the world, nothing compares, so we'll go there too.

Speaking of dairy, OM and me made these today

(this is what ours look like:)

and they are super yummy and a true kid-friendly recipe. OM picked out their muffin cups and each placed one wafer at the bottom (I'm thinking these would fit better in mini-muffin cups) and then we mixed
strawberry yogurt with cool whip, plopped it in the cups, and put another wafer on top. Freeze one hour. Mmmm.

And, I wanted to share a delicious tofu recipe. I've been eating a lot of tofu lately and I actually really like it, it's so versatile, but I know lots of people don't. So, try this. If you still don't like tofu after this recipe than tofu is probably a no-go for you:

Ginger-Baked Tofu
(**from the kind diet by alicia silverstone)
1 pound firm tofu
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
2 T minced fresh ginger
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 T umeboshi vinegar (you probably don't own this, but if you do, I added 1 T; it tastes a little too much like ocean water for me to go full dose)
1/2 tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes

Cut the tofu in half width-wise, and place each half on its side then slice in half again. You will be left with 4 tofu steaks.

Pour 3/4 cup water into a bowl. Whisk in remaining ingredients and pour over the tofu, covering it. An 8x6 pyrex works well. Marinate for at least one hour. (I tried to rush this once and it didn't taste as really needs time to soak up the flavor.)

Preheat oven to 375℉. Either drain the baking dish of the majority of the marinade, or place the tofu on a baking sheet and baste with the marinade (I do the former). Reserve the remaining marinade.

Bake the tofu for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the tofu pieces over, baste with marinade, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Garnish with scallions, if desired, and serve warm.

I eat it with brown rice (cooked in vegetable broth) and a salad that usually has cilantro and avocado on top. Totally filling, and a delicious meal. You won't miss the meat:)

Bonne nuit mes amis!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

artists @ work...

Woody had to work today so we had to enjoy our Saturday without him. This use to be so daunting when OM were younger, the idea of spending another day without Woody's help. But now that they're older and can say, paint, while I pull weeds it's no big whoop. We did involve him somewhat by bringing him lunch (from Burgerville: if you live in the Pacific  NW I highly recommend the rosemary shoestring french fries...y-u-m-m-y!) and playing Hide-and-go-seek in his office. 

After naps we spent some time in the sol:

Maya called her painting, 'mommy running.'

Owen's is called, 'wolverine.'

We admired our flowers:

And they did some sprints...

Back to painting...this is another 'wolverine' (see his claws?) by Owen.

Maya decided to play with moon sand in the garage-play-area.

Owen is pointing to what will soon be the most beeeeautiful flower ever (although I'm also partial to pink tulips, hydrangea, orchids, crocus and daffodils):

Peonies! Can't wait.

And I love this poem by Mary Oliver about peonies (and life)...

Peonies by Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises, 
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace, 
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them, 

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls, 
craving the sweet sap, 
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind, 
as in a dance to the great wedding, 

the flowers bend their bright bodies, 
and tip their fragrance to the air, 
and rise, 
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness 
gladly and lightly, 
and there it is again --- 
beauty the brave, the exemplary, 

blazing open. 
Do you love this world? 
Do you cherish your humble and silky life? 
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath? 

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, 
and softly, 
and exclaiming of their dearness, 
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, 

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, 
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?