Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Day 2009

Was amazing.

Here's how it went:

  • slept in until 7:15am! [yea!]
  • ran [too far] - which turned out to be a blessing because - I finally remembered to get these [8 spudnuts]:

  • yum - yum - yum! My spudnuts from Halloween! Thanks to "buff" they were incredible. 5 layers of foil, 1 layer of wax paper and 2 layers of plastic wrap....they were beautiful.

playing Taboo after too much food. just like the old days. hilarious. Evie & Shar [hands-down] the funnest people to play this with. best moment: happy saying, "you get these at a restaurant with a little paper - they say like conscience says...." i think she means, "Confucius says". Second best . . . anytime anyone starts out, "this is something [insert name] is . ." This game is not for the sensitive at heart. Curious ---- why am I the easy target? [don't answer that]

Peanut had stayed the night T-day Eve to "help Nana". Not only did she make this sweet floral arrangement - she included a sultry PJ pose. hubba-hubba.

She may now make rolls better than me?!! [helping in the kitchen?!] I can't pay this kid to help me cook?!!!

  • The "K-Clan" helping me find the best running music --- ever.
  • The Pita doing all [yes, all] the dishes.
  • 7 pies and one amazing bread pudding [made by yours truly].
  • each of us trying to pretend we hadn't already gathered a secret stash of orange rolls in the cupboard when mom asked if we wanted to take some home.
  • no one touching the cranberry salad thing.
  • Happy making 40lbs of mashed potatoes - no joke.
  • Dave walking in with a look like, "I wish this was a joke"
  • being [semi-nicely forced] to take 7lbs of mashed potatoes home with us/EACH.
  • E & J reporting some serious LB'S lost - yea for you guys!
  • The biggest hug ever from Ethan
  • E & J's kids are turning into carbon copies of "buff" - good thing I adore him & his unique sense of humor. ;)
  • Tiff with the sweetest new "do".
  • Dad trying "a little of each dessert"
  • Mom finding new ways to incorporate her iPhone into anything we were doing. love it.
  • walking to the park with the neighbor's kids & our dogs.

I'm realizing I may love this day even more than I had thought.

I am one blessed woman.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Worth it

Guess I'd have to mark the Pita's crabby mood this afternoon as "worth it", after receiving these upon his return home.

Notice the raisin free carrot cake - it is a Trader Joe's miracle!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Welcome to the good life.

We surprised Peanut with a 3 night stop over in Fiji [on the way back from NZ]. beautiful.

Any one who knows my Peanut knows - she loves to read. Anytime we hop in the car - she reads. In sacrament meeting - reading. In the bath [sorry mesquite library, she'll try harder not to drop them in the suds] - reading.

Now - in Fiji - reading.

Now if I could just learn to follow suit.

Monday, November 23, 2009

That "happy".

She is a funny little tart. So my Mom sent a "here's what each of you ungrateful children [other than EMZ] need to bring to contribute for Thanksgiving dinner" email. First you must know - I come from a family of "reply all's"......why would they just reply to Mom when they can "reply to all" and we can all see how willing they are to make/help/contribute?!

I was thinking just this as I read Happy's email but then I noticed my contributions had been jacked.

I went from Emz: soup, dessert & salad

to this: soup, dessert, salad, 7 homemade pies, more potatoes [Happy may not bring enough], your amazing brownies JIC someone doesn't want pie, green pistachio salad that Dave likes, green bean casserole & olives for our fingers.

Bring on the Holiday's! Can't wait until Happy gets my "reply all" email.

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong to [some days] wish I was a dog?

Seriously. What a rough life.

Is it really that mean to go and wake them up for no reason at all?

Friday, November 20, 2009

taking time to savour the moment

The "bed time" routine in our home . . . well it could use a little improvement. Some days - like when Peanut was severely jet-lagged - go beautifully. She would actually ask if she could go to bed. [twist my arm - okay, go for it]. Other days, she will do anything to postpone the inevitable - even if for only for 1-2 minutes.

It's usually pans out like this:

*Mom, let's just relax and cuddle on the couch for a minute first.
*Mom, tell me a story from your childhood.
*So what was the best thing about your day today?
*What's your favorite food?
*What's your favorite animal?
*{and it goes on & on} . . . .

Most nights [when it's a reasonable [within 30 minutes of bed time] - I "cave" - meaning - I answer my dear sweet daughter's questions. [PLEASE note: she very rarely asks me anything of this nature before 8:30pm - I am not being mean, I just see a pattern here.]

So fast forward to last night. 9:25pm [keep in mind - this is 55 minutes late to bed in our home].

Peanut: Mom - want me to rub your feet?
Me: Yes - tomorrow at 7:30pm - I'll bring the lotion to you.
Peanut: No Mom. Tonight. Well then, tell me another story from your childhood.
Me: Ellie it's so late - ask me in the morning. I'll think of something really good while I'm sleeping.
Peanut: awwwe Mom - come on!!
Me: Get to bed "on-time" - I'll tell you all the stories you want.
Peanut: fine [this is not my favorite reply - but I'll take it tonight]

[kisses all over the face - {routine} - forehead, chin, nose, cheek, cheek, mouth]

Me: See you in the morning. Love you.
Peanut: Mom - come back. Sit down on my bed.
Me: Ellie - it's late. [I'm thinking there was something like an eye roll right here] - I ...
{she interrupts}
Peanut: Mom? Do you know how much I love you?
Me: [can feel the tears forming] Yes, Ellie - you show me how much you love me everyday. I love you.
Peanut: please don't go - I need to read you something......[leans over pulls out, "Mama, do you love me?"]

She proceeds to read the entire book to me - slowly and calmly - hitting each punctuation perfectly - with such meaning. Closes the book - looks at me and says. "Mom, just want you to know, I know how much you love me."

So today - I am thankful. Thankful for my peanut. Thankful for her tenderness. Thankful for her persistence. Thankful she stopped me and had me chill out about "time" and running "late" and enjoy this tender moment with my girl. I will remember it always.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

only 7 more days

..... Until my favorite day of the year [other than my birthday, of course].

Turkey Day.

However, I don't even care for turkey. What I do love is most everything else about this day, minus the dishes.

Ours is a simple enough event with all the familiar details - the door left open so we can have the fireplace going, platters of carved meat, Dave's famous "green" jell-o [I think] salad and of course orange rolls - lots of orange rolls. As each family member rolls in, they are all greeted as if they are the only person who will be attending. From Papa, we can Always look forward to a, "how are you honey" to each of us girls & a kiss on the cheek. Nana - lovingly says "hello" from the kitchen as she is elbow high in roll dough. Each person can smell the fresh apple pie - already.

Their house feels bigger than normal on this special day. Every room silently serves it's own unique purpose. Kitchen - expect to jostle a little for "first bites" and a lot of "I had better try that first". Shar wondering if 20 pounds of potatoes is "enough" - she's not joking. She's really concerned. Family room - noise. Good noise. Like the Cowboy's loosing kind of noise. Living room - plans. Shopping plans. Shopping strategies. Coupons. Evie declaring she'll be there for a 4am store opening. The rest of us pretending - we are already "done" with our shopping. Mom's sewing room - Ethan. Nothing is as sweet as seeing Ethan singing and dancing to movie clips. Kids room - jumping. Lots of jumping. Puzzle pieces everywhere but no one puts them together. Enough monopoly money on the floor to solve the health care crisis. Smiles. Lots & lots of smiles. Cousins reunited. Friendships rekindled. Den - a room full of three to six 14-20 year olds texting. Each other. Me. The best feeling ever.

All around - backs are being slapped. Absences - noted. Hands shaken. Hugs given. Love felt. How can this not be the best day ever?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

dinner on the front lawn anyone?

So - as promised the Pita returned from work before it was dark!!!!!!!?!?!
* Amazing!! * And dinner was ready. [homemade mac-n-cheese, pot roast, corn & biscuits -- Oh how I love "training" (get to eat all the carbs my little heart desires). As I served the food up - I could see Peanut thought something was lacking [NO Kim, not in my cooking skills, trust me]. "Let's eat outside", she declared. "On what?", I questioned. "The lawn, of course", she replied. The pita was not impressed with this idea but as it was "FHE" night for us - we gathered our items and sat on the lawn. Within 45 seconds we received our first odd stare followed by an additional three. [I think this is a record for cars passing our place in 2 minutes.] As we [the Pita & I] started to feel our bums soaking from the afternoon sprinkler session, we called it quits and moved inside.

Leaving this stubborn little tart outside - with a now [very] wet bum.

"No photos Mom - I need to make a point here." I didn't even reply to that one.

The point being [I later realized], if you throw individual pieces of corn into the street after each car passes - you have only rid yourself of 6 kernels and you still have to eat the rest - - - - inside.

And yes, I did receive one phone call [during her huge 3 minute hiatus from us] from a concerned neighbor asking us if she was "in trouble"? "So why is she eating outside? She looks sad.", they said. I begrudgingly gave her the "cliff-notes" version, which in turn, she said, "so why don't you take a blanket go out and eat with her?".
Stinkin' do-good-er.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hey Mom!! . . .

. . . . guess what tomorrow is?

Me: I know, I know . . . the day I finally get my car back!!
Peanut: [less than impressed] - no.
Me: Oh, wait, it's the day your Dad promised he'd actually get home at a reasonable hour!
Peanut: [eye roll]
Me: the day you are going to do your math facts after school without me asking?
Peanut: mom ------- no.
Me: well then you might want to tell me - but please know, I have more sarcastic answers if you want to hear them.
Peanut: um lemme think about it - no.
Me: [thinking . . . what an attitude she has inherited from the Pita's family] ;)
Peanut: It's NATIONAL Kid's Day! It's on our calendar at school. See Mom someone IS looking out for kids - not just Moms/Dads/Grandmas/Grandpas! We have a day! So whatcha going to get me?
Me: huh, what? A roof over your head, clothes, food and A LOT of love!
Peanut: Come on! It's one day a year! pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?!!
Me: ok-I'll pick you up from school and we'll go get a "special" treat.
Peanut: [So excited] Thanks Mom!!

Now, I should have done this yesterday but I googled "NKD" and nope - nada for Nov 17th. However, I do see something brewing on Nov 20th.

What do you bet she has something up her sleeve for the 20th as well?!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

s w e e t e r !

Seriously - who even designs playground equipment in NZ - r o c k s !

You would never find this in the States. Even if you did - I am quite certain it would not be free.

This, my friends, is the "flying fox". The "toy" I wanted to play on at the end of every day.

The little "kiwi" kids thought it was hilarious to watch me. I think they found my screaming unnecessary but highly amusing.

One little "bloke" went and got him Mum to show her the "silly blonde girl who talks funny" . . . whatever Mate!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things I learned in NZ [yes, even after 3 prior visits]

. . . .

  • no one says, "hi". It's "hiya".
  • "Oh my gosh" is not used it's "crikey"
  • I was told to "brown eye" someone by the Pita's sister - can't even share what that means. But I'd like to go on the record as saying, "I didn't do it!"
  • when you come in from a run and someone asks, "were you running full tit?" - [yes, I did spell that right] just say "yes".

  • the Pita loves doing circus tricks with Peanut - more than she does. [can you blame her? That's a long way to fall]

  • apparently someone has done this before?! "sorry for the dark photo-it reads, "warning - do not jump for the ferry".

  • NZ parks don't get sued by their residents - the craziest playground equipment EVER!

  • running is a lot [actually] A LOT more challenging - nothing is "flat" there.

  • when you return from running - you had better gone far because the family is all there waiting for your report. "is that far enough if you are training?"

  • "NZ time" does not equal "on-time". We could have walked to our destination faster ----but then we wouldn't have the sweet photo by the wine tasting now, would we?

  • this bird [tui] - without a doubt sings the MOST beautifully of any bird I have ever heard before.

  • "travelator" ? I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was from Austria. What's even funnier? I'm the only one who thought this was hilarious [this one brought me to tears].

  • Poppy's flowers at Spring time are even more beautiful than I had heard.

  • Peanut does not have NZ "beach feet".

  • If there is an All-Blacks game on [rugby] don't plan on ... a.) anyone to care you are [trying] to shop/buy something in their store. b.) any family member to answer your question [or heck, even realize you are speaking] c.) the decibel level of the TV being under 120db. d.) realize you will see this EXACT game at least 4 more times [in re-run form].

  • If the All-Blacks lose - - a.) don't expect any New Zealand-er to care you are alive. b.) expect that every pub you walk by to be packed & quiet [no music......nada]

  • If the All-Blacks win - - expect to hear about it everywhere you go [in a bathroom stall [yes, really], cafe, grocery store, library & at the Chinese take-a-way place.

Almost done ;)

  • iceblock = Popsicle and "yes", you want one.
  • don't ask for a napkin at the dinner table or your cousin will pass you a diaper. "It's a serviette." woooo wooo-well excuuuuuuuse me. ;)
  • dinner is an "open slather" = free for all - get your own food.
  • when the "panel beater" calls he just wants to talk to you about the dent on your car.
  • when your MIL says, "you must have gotten up at the Sparrow's fart" - she really means, "at sunrise" [that one ------- um, can't really wrap my head around that one]

Oh & Nat, I apparently should have left my sweet heels with you. As no one [but the uber-chic ;) CRAZY, blonde American] wears leopard print platform 4" heels in NZ?! I believe the comment went like this ..... "Crikey, what did you kill [hunt/murder] and put on your feet?"

Well folks, I believe these are the only ones suitable for writing. Trust me - I [unfortunately/fortunately]? - have more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dorothy was RIGHT

...... there's no place like home. Yes, even when I have 4 [super] grumpy buyers, a car still in the shop, 6 loads of laundry to fold [I even did 4 loads in NZ?!], a Hubby already back at work [on a "holiday"?!], a now broken printer, no rental car drop-off in sight & no other food in the fridge but the bread my parents brought us last night - - yep, I still love being home.

The trip was a huge success. Trips to NZ always seem to be busy [VERY busy]. Always so many people to see/visit/get in touch with in such a small period of time. However, we made sure to relax on our second to last day there with a day trip to Waiheke Island. I'll retire in NZ any day, if it's here.

I'll be posting a lot of photos from our trip in the next few days. However, I could NOT wait a moment to post this one:

My favorite photo I took. We were lucky enough to go with Poppy on 3 walks around Whangaparaoa & Little & Big Manly - [beaches]. The only thing that would make this photo better would be if you could see this 89 year olds' calves - amazing. I will never forget first meeting Poppy. We sat down to lunch, started talking about our workout routines - look up to see Poppy on the restaurant patio floor doing push-ups!! He was 80 years old at the time! What a man.

The services for Nana were beautiful & I [finally] got a chance to meet most of Mike's family [more on that "experience" later] ;)