Happy Cinco de Mayo!

photo 1

For some reason my pictures won’t rotate. So you’ll have to turn your head for this post.

I’m currently all verklempt. Gryffindor has been wanting to throw a Cinco de Mayo party for a while, but didn’t invite people until the last minute. I was very worried that no one would come. I even sent out an email to the church ladies hoping to dredge up guests. A few people came, she danced and had fun, and she felt like it was a success.

And she was so happy!!!

OK, so it was attended by many of Ravenclaw’s friends, two kids from the neighborhood, one of Gryffindor’s friends came, plus we had the missionaries, my friend SB and her family, and our amazing friend M. It might not sound like much, but she was thrilled! (The Bonus Child was having some arm pain after getting his cast off, so he lurked around in the house while the party was outside. He and Hufflepuff spent some time together though, so it was all good.)

photo 2The Chosen One was awesome. I had planned to just play music through the Apple TV, but that would’ve been loud. Instead he set up speakers on our condemned deck, which is right by the back yard, and we played Latin dance music. The Chosen One is a great DJ. Especially since I suck at that and when it wasn’t working easily I was planning to give up.

The Chosen One also earned the title of Best Stepdad for trying to teach Gryffindor how to salsa. They were the only ones dancing, but they looked awesome! (the younger kids kept wanting to limbo with a little dancing here and there.)

Iphoto 3 want to emphasize that Gryffindor planned this party. I bought some decorations and made chili. Ravenclaw made the chili con queso. I helped set up the tables for food and drink, and then let Gryffindor run the show. Except that Ravenclaw is a born leader, and she got everyone going!

The missionaries seemed to enjoy themselves. They chatted with the adults and with Gryffindor. They heard my conversion story, they met The Chosen One, and they got to eat a bunch of food. Next time I sign up to feed them I’ll have a sit-down meal, though.

This party was so much fun for Gryffindor. She was glowing by the end, and never wanted it to end. She’s already trying to find another holiday she can co-opt into a party! It’s pretty awesome. She and her sister were also exhausted by the party, so they passed out about an hour earlier than usual. Which is a Good Thing.

Here’s to more fun, family, and friends in the new house! Next time with more lead-time for party invitations. 24 hours really isn’t enough time.


Celebrate!

This morning started quietly. Gryffindor and I were the only ones going to church, and because it’s Fast Sunday we didn’t have breakfast. The Chosen One was already working on an island that had come yesterday, so we skooched by him out the door.

There were some lovely testimonies shared (and one very long rambly one with a strong accent that made me wish there was music to play people off the stage like at the Oscars), but I got distracted by the Girls Camp form, which specifically said that the kitchen wouldn’t accommodate gluten-free campers. It made me frustrated and I felt hurt and like my kids were being excluded. I might have baggage about this, though. (note the Youth Conference trip last year when Hufflepuff was given hummus and chips for 3 days. Yes, that was it. Just hummus and chips.)

Then I overheard someone in Relief Society talking about gluten-free. It turns out they’re having a gf cooking class. Led by some random non-member. No one asked me. No one thought of me. I’m hurt. They said “oh, you can come”, but I don’t want to foist myself into someone else’s lesson. I should’ve been invited to participate. Seriously. It’s been 11 years, I make money from hosting a gf recipe blog. I’ve got this covered.

And then the Bishop wouldn’t sign Hufflepuff’s Girls Camp form without meeting with her.

And then I had to wait an hour for Gryffindor’s meeting to be over.

I was in a lousy mood when I got home! Thankfully I was able to turn it around.

I made lasagna (Hufflepuff’s favorite dinner) and sushi (Hufflepuff’s other favorite dinner) for her birthday dinner with the family. My parents came over (only 30 min late!) and we toured them through the house (many things have been improved since their last visit). Then we sat and ate for hours. We had sushi and edamame for appetizers (shrimp California rolls, avocado rolls, and cucumber rolls) while the AppleTV played pictures from our Florida trip from last April. Then we had a yummy lasagna dinner, opened gifts, and ate cake. It was lovely.

A little later, while Hufflepuff and Vovo were hanging her fairy lights, Nani and the younger girls started eating some fruit salad. Gryffindor picked up a piece of watermelon and said, “what’s on this?”

“It’s just a piece of rind”

“No, it’s not. I think it’s an inchworm.”

“It can’t be. Maybe it’s a leaf.”

“No, I think it’s an inchworm,” Gryffindor insisted, and handed me the watermelon. I poked it with my finger and picked it up.

“Yup, it’s an inchworm,” I agreed, and put the watermelon and inchworm into the disposal.

Gryffindor shrieked like crazy and flapped her arms. It was awesome. She refused to eat any more of the fruit salad, as did Ravenclaw. My mom said, “it’s just added protein,” and finished eating hers. I wish I had pics or a video of her reaction. It was fabulous.

And now, with homework done, girls in bed, The Bonus Child in his bed, and The Chosen One asleep next to me, it’s time for sleep.


Sweet Sixteen

I’m guessing I can’t write “and never been kissed” because she saw her boyfriend last week. :) But today was Hufflepuff’s 16th birthday. Wow.

It was a pretty low key day, though. The Chosen One gave her the SIMS games she wanted, so she started playing them while Skyping her friends. Meanwhile, I went to Market Basket and got some shopping done for our family party the next day.

After shopping I started making her cupcakes, but The Chosen One and I had to go to his old apartment and pack things up, so Hufflepuff was in charge of taking her cupcakes out of the oven. We borrowed my parents’ van and drove off.

We managed to get a buffet, a hutch, a hope chest, and a movable cart into the van! And we had extra space left. The Chosen One was awesome and got me some sushi as a treat after carrying his heavy stuff. :)

We got home at 5:15, I frosted 8 cupcakes for Hufflepuff’s sleepover, and got her to her friend’s house a little after 5:30. Phew! Then I got home and had some extra time to frost the rest of the cupcakes before the younger girls got home from their dad’s.

Ravenclaw came home crying from something at their dad’s house. And then she was in tears because I couldn’t give her $20 for her to go to the carnival. Had I known about the carnival in advance, maybe I could’ve budgeted for it. But I didn’t. Then her other friend called and offered to host a sleepover. I never allow them on Saturdays because of church, but I made a one-time exception.

It ended up very nice. Gryffindor, The Chosen One, and I had a good evening, then The Chosen One went to bed and Gryffindor and I watched the 2nd Harry Potter movie while I put together a wall unit. It was great.


Sometimes I need to see the Temple

I was in a grouchy and apathetic mood for most of the week. Bah. My migraine kept acting up. I was very tempted to not go to the Temple, and instead stay home and go to bed early. I’m glad I fought that feeling! Even though we were amazed at how long it took us to finish at the Temple!

After work and school we relaxed a bit, then I got ready for the Temple as The Chosen One got ready to go pack up some stuff at his house. Hufflepuff was home Skyping, and the younger 2 were watching TV. I left them there with a phone for when their dad called to say he was almost there.

I got to SB’s house at 4:45. We got to M’s work at 5. The Temple is about 40 minutes from her work. We got there at 6:20. We did the 5 Initiatories I had printed out, and then we went to the 7pm Endowment session. Each of us did a name we had just done the Initiatory for, which is always fun.

The 7pm session started at 7:20 because a young woman was going through for her mission, and getting her ready had run late. Then we had to pause the session because a man had a nosebleed. And then we got separated and it took SB forever to get to the Celestial Room. And then we had to wait to get our family name cards. As we were waiting an alarm started going off. At that point it was 9:45. I finally got home about 10:45. Phew!

Sweetest thing ever – coming home to find The Chosen One had fallen asleep watching Frozen. Awww! I woke him up so he wouldn’t sleep on the couch, though.

It was amazing how my mood changed by going to the Temple. I was incredibly grouchy, and then the grouchiness was gone. Everything is awesome!


Now, this was nice

So, this morning went smoothly, I didn’t fall asleep at work (though it was a possibility, I’ve been so tired lately! bah!), and I came home and got a 45 minute nap before I picked up the girls. It was pouring this morning, so I had promised to pick them up after school, thinking it would still be raining. But it wasn’t. And the temps were finally almost to Spring levels rather than late fall temps.

I was still tired after picking up the girls, so I went back to bed and let them watch  little TV. They promised to do homework at their dad’s house, and he promised to actually take them tonight, so it would all work out. I ended up dozing off, so they got a little bit more TV than I planned. Oops! We did chat for a while about Pokemon before their dad picked them up. I’ve learned far more than I ever wanted to about Pokemon over the years. Did you know that there’s a Call Me Maybe parody with all Pokemon names? Don’t google it. It’ll get stuck in your head. The “Get Baptized Maybe” parody is the one I’ve heard more than the original, so that’s what gets stuck in my head.

I was successful in getting Hufflepuff to make her own dinner (omelet), The Chosen One made his pizza, and I had some ravioli. I (finally) came to the realization that I tend to feel better if I eat rather than if I just bring food to work and not eat it. Interesting. That’s a total DUH moment, but I’m not always the sharpest tool in the belt.

The Chosen One and I had a lovely little pseudo-date night watching a couple episodes of The Daily Show while we ate. It was nice! Reminded me of our life before we got married and moved into a house together! You know, when we actually saw each other and spent time without children constantly around us.

Then I got some help from The Chosen One bringing the mattress down from the attic, and I set up a little bed/fort for The Bonus Child in the Library. He seemed happy about it when he came over. The Chosen One wasn’t asleep yet, so they had a little chat, too. And as long as the boxes of books don’t crush The Bonus Child in his sleep, we’ll all be happy in the morning.

Now I have succeeded in enjoying time with my husband, had a little time with my kids, read scriptures, done prayers, and blogged, so now I can reward myself with some sleep. Yay, sleep!


Surprise pizza day

I woke up with the migraine not gone. It wasn’t at the level 8, but it wasn’t back at the level 1-2 that it’s been for a while, either. Yay. So I just muddled through the day. It was only my 2nd Wednesday working a full day while The Chosen One watched over the children’s after school. I don’t like long days of work with headaches.

Anyhow, work was OK. It ended up not mattering that The Chosen One was home – Ravenclaw went to her friend S’s house (they’re fostering a dog! And they got candy and a movie!), Hufflepuff went to her friend M’s house (it’s a much shorter walk home), and Gryffindor was the only one to come home after school. Since it really is fine for Gryffindor to be home alone, it ended up not mattering that The Chosen One was there.

To add to the migraine, my ex told me he was still shopping for a car, so he couldn’t take the girls. ??? I never can say something’s come up, but this is his 2nd time in 2 weeks. Bah.

Anyhow. I made pizzas. Which meant making sauce. And which meant making crusts. Which meant testing out The Chosen One’s Kitchen Aid mixer. It worked well, but it makes a weird noise. I might have to search something on that.

Anyhow, it was a quiet night. Nothing exciting happened. I did finally realize that I could make a pseudo bedroom/fort for The Bonus Kid in the Library using boxes of books for a wall, so I told him I’d do that for him. I’ve slept on the couch, it’s not ideal. The Ikea mattress in the attic would be better. The police came yesterday to make sure The Bonus Kid was sleeping there, and it’ll look better if he’s not sleeping on the couch.


The day that was killed by the migraine

I hate days like this. I want to just chop my head off.

I got home from work and was a little grouchy. My head didn’t hurt, but I had this weird feeling that is the precursor to some of my migraines. And The Chosen One can see when I’m feeling off. He’s really amazing like that. It can be a little annoying, honestly, but he is very perceptive.

It was a pretty normal Tuesday after work – Ravenclaw went to her friend’s house, Hufflepuff had Gay Straight Alliance and had me drive her and her friend home afterwards, and Gryffindor got a ride home.

I remembered to put dinner in the crockpot, so we had the ribs. They were good. So were the baked beans, the rice, and the artichokes. I was hurting during dinner, but it wasn’t horrible. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor didn’t have a YW activity, so I just got Ravenclaw over to my friend SB’s house for a ride, and I was done with my obligations for the night!

So when I got home I went upstairs and took my meds and went to bed. I love that I’m married and can leave someone else in charge of my kids! Admittedly they’re old enough to take care of themselves, but it was nice to not worry. Hufflepuff (surprise surprise) went upstairs to Skype her friends.

The Chosen One and Gryffindor watched Disney channel for an hour or so while I was curled up in a ball in pain. Yay. I love that I could hear a little bit of sound (I could tell when they were talking, but not what they were saying) but the TV isn’t really audible upstairs. The sound carries really badly from upstairs downstairs, but not vice versa.

When The Bonus Child arrived for the night, he and The Chosen One had a great chat. They both sounded happy! And The Bonus Child wasn’t monosyllabic and grunting! It was a miracle! Apparently he was also giving Ravenclaw the wrong answers on her homework when she got back from Church, but that’s his normal behavior, so I’m happy to hear it. She shouldn’t be asking for help, anyhow. :-P

I’m hoping that there will be more days when The Chosen One and The Bonus Child can bond.


Monday Monday

So, I just love the first day of the week. The Bonus Child is monosyllabic/grunting in the morning, which is what I expect in a teenage boy (though he is saying no to food, which is weird for him and weird for teenage boys in general). My girls aren’t much more talkative on Mondays. Everyone wants to go back to sleep. And, yes, it is even worse on the first day back from vacation.

We got through it, though, and I got through my work. It was fun to see D again, she had been off the whole week with her son, so we had a lot to catch up on! It was nice! Too bad we had some actual work to get done, as that got in the way of our chatting.

I almost had a revolt at dinner – I had forgotten to start the ribs in the crock pot in the morning, so we had to have something else. Ravenclaw was beyond disappointed into rabidly upset. I moved the crock pot into the middle of the counter so I won’t forget tomorrow. That slightly mollified her, along with me making her a pizza bagel in addition to the tamales & taquitos everyone else ate.

After a lovely family dinner (it’s so nice when The Chosen One’s food is done at the same time as ours is!) we had a little Family Home Evening game night. Gryffindor had gotten a game called “Crappy Birthday” for her 12th birthday (the Harry Potter birthday party of awesomeness), and we had never played it. It’s kinda like Apples to Apples, but a little different. We loved it! It was so much fun! Hufflepuff even liked it enough to play a couple rounds before disappearing to her room to chat with her friends. Gryffindor slaughtered all of us at the game, though. Good thing to remember. She’s crazy good at it.

I’m wishing The Bonus Child came a little earlier so he could hang out and play with us, but he was having a fight with his brother and mom. He did finally arrive a little late, and more monosyllabic than usual.


Sundays are rest days

Once upon a time I was a single mom. I didn’t live with The Chosen One, I just lived with my girls. We went to church, I fed them lunch, and then I took a nap.

Now I feel like I’m supposed to be useful and productive after church. This doesn’t always work out. I love Sunday naps. They’re my favorite.

We did have a nice day at church, there were some good talks. The big shocker was that the Young Women’s presidency changed. Yikes! We weren’t expecting that!

I did talk to the YM president about having B here during the week, and asking if The Bonus Child could participate. This week wasn’t ideal (they were moving people up levels), but he is welcome any time. I hope he’ll go.

I started trying to think of a way to help him sleep better than on our couch, too. There has to be a way… Sleeping on a couch 5 days out of 7 through the end of school would suck.

As a total bonus one of the members of the Bishopric called and asked me to speak. Yippee! I’m talking on Mother’s Day! But, thankfully, not just about mothers. Phew! Talking and teaching on the same day, I just realized. Yay.


See Rachel Run. Run, Rachel, Run

Today was all about the errands. OK, some errands were more important than others, but at least I was productive and got something done!

The Chosen One went to Ikea (lucky dog), but I had to get groceries, so I let him go alone. Plus, I’m always a little woozy the day after a migraine, and it takes me longer to get moving.

I drove out by the mall to go to the British import shop to buy myself a couple of candy bars. And then to Sonic for tater tots and a cherry limeade. Then to Trader Joe’s to stock up.

Then I drove back towards the house (Trader Joe’s is 20-30 minutes away near the mall), went to the regular grocery store, and finally went to Whole Foods for the other things. I love shopping at 3 grocery stores in one day! It’s so fun! I am glad I can easily make 3 shopping lists on my phone and keep track of my spending at each. That is nice. And I’m glad that there’s more prepared foods that are gluten-free so I can feed my children that for dinner when I’m exhausted from shopping all day.

I do feel guilty for using prepared foods, though. We had chicken nuggets, veggie burgers, and then roasted potatoes & roasted green beans. so only 1/2 of the dinner was actually prepared foods. And out of the 7 dinners on the white board, only 2 are prepared foods, though I didn’t grind my own sausages, and I cheated in buying Jennie-O meatballs (oh, how happy it makes me that I can buy those, though! I don’t love making meatballs). I’m going to have to work on this so that even less is prepared foods, as I’m feeling like I’ve been massively slacking. I’ve been buying bread and crackers! Bah.

The menu for the next couple weeks (I only cook 4 nights a week, the younger girls are with their dad 3 nights a week, and I figure we can fend for ourselves/eat leftovers those nights):

  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Ravioli and sausages
  • Tacos
  • Tamales & Taquitos
  • Pizzas
  • Crock pot ribs and beans
  • Nuggets & veggie burgers

Oh, and after grocery shopping I was proud of myself – I put everything away (I used to procrastinate that before we had the awesomesauce pantry), and I cleaned out all the old leftovers from the fridge and ran the dishwasher.

A very productive day. I even did a couple loads of laundry. Now I can bake tomorrow after church without feeling like I’ve been totally lazy all weekend.

Now to look over the lesson for tomorrow and go to sleep. I forgot I was teaching! Oops!

(Oh, I also had a wonderful talk today with J about B staying here. It was lovely. I’ve missed her)