Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!: Cumpleanos Gigantes '09!

This week was in.sane. What with all the commotion and full-term pregnancy and whatnot at the end of last year I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate LittleMommy's(10) and Mr.Yuke's(5) birthdays when things calmed down a little bit. They were good sports and agreed to this. Unfortunately, things calmed down all at the same time. I should win some kind of mommy award or something. Oh wait- I sort of did. Someone saw my MOPRAH contest entry on SeriouslySoBlessed and took pity on me, offering free baby pictures after reading my pathetic plea for stuff. Only now I feel really stupid. : ) That's ok though. I'm not going to let it stand between me and the free stuff. Anyway-

Thursday we had Mr.Yuke's(5) "birthday" party. He decided he wanted "a toaster waffle breakfast party." ("!!!!!") (He has the most interesting notions.) He invited 9 friends over to "eat toaster waffles and have a pinata and watch Speed Racer and pin the #5 on Mach 5". A good time was had by all and there was a minimum of syrup on the floor. Good thing since it was the first day of Cumpleanos Gigantes '09.

Friday we had Bubba's(8) party. He wanted to have a Jedi party again with 9 friends. I didn't think I could deal with 15 Jedis in my oh-so-tiny house, all whacking and flailing in true Jedi fashion. I discussed this with MyBeautiful. She suggested a pinata the boys could beat with their light sabers instead of each other. (I've mentioned before that she is amazing.) I settled on this idea and ordered a Darth Vader pinata. I convinced Bubba(8) that it would be REALLY FUN to have a "Jedi battle on the ice-planet Hoth" party. This would involve a battle to defeat the Empire OUTSIDE in the snow. Everyone could bring their sleds and hopefully no one would need stitches or anything. He agreed and so that's what we did. After sledding, the kids came in for hot chocolate and made their own personal pizzas. They opened presents while the pizzas baked, had dinner and then did the pinata. They watched Return of the Jedi for a while, had cake and ice cream and went home with glow stick "light sabers". It was a great party. (Thanks, MyBeautiful!)

Saturday we had LittleMommy's(10) party. She opted for a makeover night complete with teenybopper chick-flick ("Another Cinderella Story"~ a Disney channel original movie) and takeout Chinese food. We started with dinner served on china but eaten off of bee-yoo-tee-ful party plates and cups. After they had finished eating and had devoured two fortune cookies each, the 5 girls were each given a tub with towel, marbles, nail brush, water bottle, and nail buffing cube. While we watched the movie, we did foot soaks and then the girls got to choose between mani's and pedi's. I ended up doing fingers for three and toes for two. We did the works from sugar scrubs, hand soaks and cuticle treatments to footscrub that proved to be way too ticklish for little girls, and a soothing foot moisturizer. ; ) For the manicures I found this great cuticle oil that smells like cranberry. It was a huge hit. While I worked on hands and feet MyBeautiful did hair and makeup. She is an angel, that one. I had made arrangements with a professional beautician to come and do up-do's but she called me in the afternoon saying that she was sick in bed and would be unable to attend. MyBeautiful rescued me and saved the party, bringing all her stuff to do up the girls. (LOVE YOU!!!) After the movie/makeovers were finished, we had build-your-own ice cream sundaes- complete with the works including homemade hot fudge sauce and toasted coconut. It was a great party and LittleMommy's(10) friends had fun.

Sunday I recooperated and Monday I got the house ready to host my book group tonight. Tomorrow I think I'll shop for snow pants. After all, I've got my birthday ski trip planned for this weeked.... : ) Maybe in February I'll rest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Need Some Ideas Here

I'm lookin' for great ideas for Girls' Night. Keep in mind we're a buncha Mormon mommies needing some escape that DOESN'T include booze, gambling, or debauchery.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Food From the 70's

Does anyone still actually eat sloppy joes? I remember when I was a kid living in a military brat location, my dad was gone for long periods of time. During these times we would spend most of our free moments with Mom's best friend and her kids. The kids were the same age as Brother and me and we had tons of fun together. During those long days of playing and fun, I remember three particular food items that we had fairly often. (Insert Mr. Burns-type shudder here.) They were: carrot and raisin coleslaw made with miracle whip, KFC from a KFC where they didn't understand how occasionally that oil in the fryers should be changed. I can still smell the air around that place. and (drumroll please) sloppy joes. (Insert second Mr. Burns-type shudder here.)

Brother and I never liked sloppy joes. I think it was about the time my father left us for good (when I was 5 or 6) that I put my foot down and informed my mother how we would not be eating them any more. Ever. (She must not have liked them either because we never ate them again. Not one single time in all the years I lived at home- no matter how tight the grocery budget got. I mean- there's just some things you DON'T DO.) I honestly grew up thinking that sloppy joes were one of those things like fruicake; it is generally accepted that nobody likes/wants them. So I was surprised to find them on the menu not once, but twice in the last two months of 2008 in varying circumstances.

The first time we were served them (in November), they caught my unsuspecting children by surprise. Because why would anyone actually on purpose serve something that tastes like/has the consistency of- sloppy joes? Hee hee. : ) Oh their faces! Priceless. I felt so bad for the sweet lady who was feeding us. She had volunteered to cook for our family as we were coming and going to/from the hospital. I am so grateful for her kind service and as we sat down to eat, I prayed that my children would be kind in their inevitable censure. She had cooked a pot of- what?- Slop? Sloppy?- large enough to feed a village in Africa for like- ten years, and she was expecting it all to go. Even if we were sloppy joe fans, I don't think we could have made a dent in the amount that was there. I started eating, feeling terrible for all the ways this sweet lady was about to get insulted. My children then surprised me by using the best manners possible. They politely tried to gag down some bites with almost no audible complaints. I was proud to be a momma that day. The lady was visibly distressed at the GALLONS- I am not making this up- of sloppy she had left over, but hey. I was picking my battles.

The second time sloppy joes graced our table, just a few short weeks later, the kids were wise to the situation. It was battlestations. The short people took their places around the table with set and determined faces and I was sure I must be reliving some scene that had played out between Brother, Mother, and me a few decades earlier. I took a deep breath, ready to begin fighting the onslought of complaints that was now so close it was palpably hanging in the air around us, when Mr. Yuke(5) straggled to the gathering. He took one look and the call to arms rang out of his mouth before he was even in his seat:

"Oh NO!!! NOT slobbery joes!!!!"

And there it was. The battle was over before it started. As we gagged down our few obligatory bites we all laughed hysterically and discussed how neither Husband or I had ever liked slobbery joes either. (Fortunately our benefactor for this second meal was not present for its consumption. Or lack thereof. Whatever.) It seems Mother-In-Law had stopped serving sloppy joes at Husband's house about the same time Mom did at ours.

So here's my question: Did your mother stop serving slobbery joes when Regan got elected too? Or did you actually have to eat them in the 80's as well? Was there some mass slop shortage that caused the disappearance of slobbery joes for three decades, only for them to reappear now? And how do we REPEAT that? I really want to know here people, so just throw up your answers on the poll in the sidebar (ha ha ha!!! That was an excellent but completely unintentional play on words. : ))

"Sloppy Joes and Cut Fruit" by Atardrac, found at

Where's My Alice? -In a Nutshell

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sea-ing the World Around Us

Santa always brings the kids their very own actual bottle of shampoo every year. Shampoo and toothpaste. These are great stocking stuffers if you have more than two kids (two or less are not so nearly impressed by the "having my OWN" concept). If you're going to give that stuff though, you have to start the tradition before they are old enough to realize how lame it is. This year, each child got a different color bottle of shampoo (so as to avoid the inevitable bloodbath that identical bottles would initiate. ("That's MINE!" "NO! IT'S MINE!" "NO IT'S NOT! IT'S HERS!!!" "HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?!" "BECAUSE I SAW MONSTER TRUCK(3) POUR YOURS INTO THE TOILET!" Me: "THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP HIM?!" "I don't know"....)) Anyway, this year everyone got their own flavor in a bottle that is their favorite color. Last week the kids were all comparing scents on shower night. ("Mine smells like berries." "Mine smells like bananas." "Well MINE smells like watermelon.") Monster Truck(3), desperate to jump in and not be left out of the conversation, grabbed his bottle, quickly checked the cartoon picture on the outside, and reported, "Mine smells like dolphins! I love the smell of dolphins. It smells like dolphins, that's why it haves a dolphin. It smells good!" (Just to be clear, the shampoo smells like tangerines. Santa was so busy picking out different color shampoo bottles that Santa didn't notice this particular shampoo is for after SWIMMING- hence the dolphin. Oops.)

Mr.Yuke(5) informed me a couple months back (and several times since then as he's carefully tested his theory-) that the sun (and incidentally also the moon) follows him. Because everywhere he goes, the sun goes. I'm sorry for all of you people who apparently dwell in perpetual darkness because you are not where he is. Anyway, the other night we watched the full moon rise as we drove down the freeway. It was beautiful. (The moon was closer to the earth that night than it will be for the next 2 years.) A little while later when the moon was up higher in the sky, ThePinkiest(6) commented that it was now closer to us than it had been before. Try as I might, I could not convince her that the mo0n was the same distance away as it always is. She knew that I was wrong. Mr.Yuke(5) confirmed her suspicion, thus: "Yeah. It is closer. That's because it saw ME."

2008 was icky. Not just for me, but for a lot of people. In general, I try to be a glass-is-half-full type of person. I avoid activities that make me have a more negative outlook, such as watching the news or having any contact with my dad. It seems though that no matter how I look at it- overall, 2008 stunk. Not just for me. It was a pretty cruddy year for a lot of people. Last year I mentioned that I LOVE the new year- fresh start and all that. As I was pondering the approach of 2009 and cleaning out my closet, I discovered my gratitude journal. This is a book I started four years ago when I was trying really hard to "bloom where I was planted" in That Place I Used To Live, a place which I did not like. The concept of the gratitude journal is simple enough. At the end of the day I write a minimum of 3 things I'm grateful for that day. Some days here at Not Quite the Bradys finding THREE things can be quite challenging. On those days I have written things like- "I'm grateful I could make myself write in this stupid journal."- but I always write in it, no matter what and most days I have plenty to write about. Well, I did I should say. It appears that I sort of stopped writing in it when I lost Baby B, and with the loss of Baby A last January, I just forgot all about it. I had not thought of the gratitude journal once the whole year until I stumbled across the book while doing my get-ready-for-a-new-and-improved-year cleanout. As I was trying to remember the last time I wrote in it, I started thinking that although the events of 2008 were irrefutably bad, my experience probably would have been better had I focused on my blessings more. My New Year's Resolution then, is this: I will try to be more focused on the sweet things in life. I will try to remember the things that matter. Things like: even dolphins smell amazing through the nose of a three-year-old; Santa Claus is real even if he DOES bring toothpaste; and God loves me so much He made the sun follow me wherever I go.

It's going to be a good year. : )

Turtlenecks, PLEASE

We sat down to dinner on Sunday night and Husband asked everyone to share with the family one thing they had learned at church, just like we always do. When we got to Mr.Yuke(5), he said, "I don't know."
Me: You don't remember? Well how were your new teachers?
Mr.Yuke(5): I don't remember. BUT! GUESS!WHAT!?"
Husband: What?
Mr.Yuke(5): My teacher wears shirts that show her boobs!
Husband and me trying to frown disapprovingly at this possibility while not saying anything in response so as not to turn "boobs" into a hot dinner topic for the next fortnight.
Me: Hmm.
Mr.Yuke(5): It comes all the way down to here and they just stick right out.
(I will say in the woman's defense that she had a baby two days after I had T.Tiny(1m) and she is nursing so this was probably not her fault. I'm sure she is a very modest woman.)
Me looking at LittleMommy(10): And THAT is why we dress modestly. When you don't, people NOTICE.