Easter was awesome

Until it wasn’t.

We got to sleep in a bit (8:30 for baskets) because it was Stake Conference and I didn’t feel comfortable driving into Cambridge. We went to my mom’s church, and it was quite lovely.

Then we went to my mom’s house for the traditional egg hunt, with a pieced-together non-clue clue for the treasure (bunny for Ravenclaw, Fennikin for Gryffindor, emerald earrings for Hufflepuff).

We had steak and eggs (grilled steak tips and a frittada) plus artichokes, asparagus, roasted potatoes, and a bunny cake for dessert. It was delicious!

As a bonus, Gryffindor had us all singing Feliz Navidad. Until we learned Spanish for Easter, and then we sang that.

We had a nice visit with my dad & step-mom, too. Another hunt, this time for Peeps and a $5. :) Their deck was incredibly warm. So warm that Gryffindor dozed off and Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw went down to the beach. Hufflepuff took a great pic of Ravenclaw in the water. Lovely.

Unfortunately, I started to have a crummy tummy at the end of the celebration and went home to go to bed and the bathroom. I’m not a fan of GI troubles. Other than that, though, it was fabulous.

Resting and Easter Prep

Today was a good mix of resting (I slept until almost 10! and took a nap!) and prepping for Easter. I had some shopping to do so I could bring the annual Easter bunny cake, plus I offered to bring artichokes.

As a bonus, last night when I fell asleep my iPad fell on my face and cut my nose and bruised it. Ouch. Absolutely a #firstworldproblem but it really does hurt.

After I ran my errands I came home with a crummy tummy, so I took that nap. When I went out for another round of errands I came home with a horrible migraine.  I took meds because I still needed to make dinner (stuffed portobellas, roasted brussels sprouts, tater tots) and make the 2 circular cakes that become the bunny.

I was rather grouchy when Ravenclaw and Gryffindor came home from their dad’s house remembering that I had promised to take them shopping for an Easter dress. Blergh. I managed to suck it up and take them to Target, but I was decidedly grouchy by the time I got home.

After dinner we had fun dyeing eggs together (first time we did that with The Chosen One!), decorating the bunny cake, and then watching a film on lds.org called “He is Risen” which follows the final days of Jesus. Good little film.

Now that the children are asleep (and so is The Chosen One), the Easter Bunny can come. Tomorrow we’ll have church with my mom and then go to my mom’s house for an Easter brunch with steak and eggs. Sounds like a good plan. Thank goodness I can sleep in a bit tomorrow (until 8), because I’m a little sleepy now.

The one in which a good night turns bad

So, my father and step-mother came over to “picnic” and bring us food from a new restaurant in town. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant with almost a completely gluten-free menu. If you’re local it’s called Soall Bistro.

It was delicious. Seriously. I want to eat the lemongrass shrimp all the time. And all of the girls finished all of their food. I was mightily impressed – usually Gryffindor is picky about Asian food, but she loved her lemongrass tofu. And Ravenclaw’s ribs looked divine. The Chosen One was kinda screwed by getting just some chicken since he didn’t get rice or vermicelli with his food, but that was really the only negative about the food.

Unfortunately my kids then acted like crazy obnoxious brats. They were laying down on each other, punching each other, sitting in my lap and acting exhausted… it was seriously annoying in a major way. I am completely fed up with this. I have laid down the law – first punching and you lose all electronics for an hour. Second incident you lose them for the rest of the day. I need them to be able to behave. They’re 10, 13, and 15, and they should be able to interact with humanity without going insane. Ugh! This has gotten worse and worse over the past few weeks, and now I’m mortified. :(

The day before this was good, Ravenclaw had her audition, which seemed to go well, and then she brought two friends home. They had fun talking about anime. Yay. Gryffindor hung out with herself and Hufflepuff locked herself in her room with her Skype friends.

Right now I’m fed up with everyone, so I should go to sleep and pray that the night of sleep grants me an attitude adjustment.

Migraines and Packing

packingSo, that’s today. I had a bad peak, so I took the meds from the headache doctor. They make me nauseated and sleepy. Which sucks. So I went home after work and didn’t get much done. Then I started feeling better. Then the headache came back. This time I took the regular painkillers. Those don’t knock me out as much. But I still didn’t get much done. It feels like there’s so much to do I won’t get it done. But I will.

My boss leaves tomorrow for Disney. He’s going with all 3 of his kids, their spouses, and his 6 grandkids. It should be fun.

I have a full day of work tomorrow, though. Which feels stupid because he won’t be there. But I’ll get some stuff done.

I’m hoping to get a goodly amount done after work tomorrow and after work on Friday. I’m amassing boxes from the liquor store and grocery stores. I like collecting boxes. It makes me feel productive even when I feel like crap.

cupcakesRavenclaw was both productive with her room and with food. She made the cupcakes. I’m quite proud. Hufflepuff also got productive with her room, but she spent 13 hours skyping today. It’s gotten out of control. Gryffindor got nothing done other than her homework. She’ll do more tomorrow.

The bomb threats were not repeated today (yay!). No devices allowed in school tomorrow, though. But they’ve relaxed the other restrictions – they’re allowed to bring backpacks and lunch boxes tomorrow. There was a strong police presence today and will be again tomorrow. The Chosen One and others have reminded me that bombers don’t usually threaten. If they want to bomb they will, they don’t make threats. The folks who make threats just want to get a reaction. Well, that worked. We’ll see what happens.

Tonight I need sleep. And then to run errands for my boss in the morning before work. Yay.


Snowstorms and Family Trees

CrittersToday started pretty normally. Well, Hufflepuff had midterms today, so she was able to sleep in (no midterms today, no school today). Gryffindor and Ravenclaw weren’t thrilled with getting up while their sister slept in, to put it mildly.

They did get cute Chebe little animal breads, though. That made up for a little of the sadness.

I forgot to record last night’s smart-aleck replies:

Me: I’m at the end of my rope, girls

Gryffindor: Then climb back up.

later, when we repeated it,

Ravenclaw: If you can’t climb up, swing. Swinging is fun.

Yeah, they’re quotable.

Tomorrow is the closing (squeeee!), but we’re in the middle of a snowstorm, so the walk-through and the closing have been switched to afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. School has already been closed for tomorrow, and it’s unlikely I’ll get into work before The Chosen One and I go to the closing.

Family TreeGryffindor’s homework for this week is to make a list of all her living relatives. Including steps. I’m currently at 92. My side of the family is about 85% of that number, her dad’s is much smaller. I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple members of his family, too. She wants to get over 100. I say she marks The Chosen One as her step-dad, that could push her over. But she says that would be cheating, as he isn’t her step-dad yet. She has a point, I guess.

I’m tired, and the above paragraph could be much better with a little work, but one last quote:

Gryffindor: “Mommy, we’re out of Lemonheads. I need more Lemonheads. Go get me more Lemonheads. They aren’t pot, you should be happy.”

The fact that it’s snow storming outside isn’t a deterrent. I suggested she go get them herself, but she won’t go out in the snow in her pjs. Maybe The Chosen One can bring her a couple Lemon Drops from Honeydukes tomorrow.

A Peaceful Sunday

Today was a good Sunday. Everyone went to Church, and everyone left in a good mood (even if they were hungry and tired).  That is my definition of a good Sunday! I really enjoyed church, too. There were good talks, a good lesson I taught with the good class (my core group of 4 were all there), and a fun Sharing time and Singing time. It was all good. I really do love my class! Next Sunday we’ve been invited to a lunch with the parents of one of my students as a thank you. The older child is Gryffindor’s BFF and my student is friends with Ravenclaw. And Hufflepuff won’t be with us, so she won’t feel left out.

kale smoothieOnce we got home it was time for Veggie Tales, hot dogs, and gf Mac & Cheese from Trader Joe’s. Then I got to take a short nap while Veggie Tales parented for a little while.

My prompts today were for abandoned (I took a picture of our Christmas tree) and breakfast. My breakfast was a kale smoothie, and I think the picture was really cool. I like the bubbles and the green.

SushisFor dinner, though, I made sushi. I had some free time while Hufflepuff was studying Chemistry with some of the other girls in her class, so I worked on it. The Chosen One had given me a sushi kit, and I finally had enough time to work on it. Sunday afternoons are the best! The first sushi roll didn’t go well, to put it mildly. But, after the first one, it came right back to me like riding a bike. :) I hadn’t made sushi in probably 6 or 7 years, but the muscle memory was there.

I had forgotten to buy shrimp, so I made all vegetable sushi. Some avocado and cucumber, some just cucumber, some cucumber & carrot, and some cucumber, carrot, and avocado. (Ravenclaw isn’t a huge avocado fan, so had to make some without avocado for her). Next time I’ll make the shrimp California rolls. Oh, and next time I’ll make sure I have gluten-free soy sauce!

Hufflepuff had a meeting for the JCs of Girls’ Camp, and I drove her and 2 other girls out there. I’ve volunteered to help in the kitchen this summer, so I’ll finally see some of all the stuff the girls love! As much as I love Children’s Island, I’m also wishing I could’ve gone to Girls’ Camp! Hufflepuff looks forward to shooting guns at targets, and the only way she can do that is at Girls’ Camp. She’s not likely to go target shooting around here – we’re pretty anti-gun.

Tomorrow is Aquarium Day! And then Tuesday is the walk-through for the house, Wednesday is the closing, and Thursday is the headache specialist. Big week!

We have a closing date!!!


The Chosen One and I will be homeowners one week from today!!! We got the word today – so incredibly happy! I was getting convinced it would never happen – we put in the offer in October. I don’t recommend short sales. Truly.

I’m so incredibly excited! One week from tomorrow I get to see a doctor about my migraine, too. Woot!

We’ve been picking out paint, but more than anything else we’re excited to start getting the house fixed up (we need a new roof and a new boiler before anyone can move in) so we can live together as a big happy family.

photo 1-3In less happy news, the flat tire couldn’t be fixed, but needed to be replaced. In extra bonus bad news, the spare also got a flat, so I got stuck at the most expensive tire place. Ugh.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I’ll have a new tire, and then I can hunt down a new spare tire, and then we can be mobile again.

The FoolAs I was waiting to hear more about my flat tire, today I did get to eat at my favorite local restaurant (yay for gift cards!) and then went for a walk around the waterfront in Salem. The schooner Friendship was in port, and I got a nice picture of the figurehead of the ship as well as of my lunch.

Life Alive is a really cool vegan restaurant that tastes divine. Hufflepuff puts up with it, Gryffindor loves it, and Ravenclaw refuses to try. I go frequently with my friend M, and I’m looking forward to taking The Chosen One there soon. Yum. For now I’ll enjoy the fact that I now have enough stamps on my card to get a free meal next time! Woot!

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Today we had Church, which was lovely. One of the talks during the sacrament meeting was about the roles of women and men, and how we are different, but equally yolked. I really enjoyed it. Many people assume different is bad, and fair = same, but that isn’t really the case. It was a good talk.

I wasn’t teaching, so I went to the adult Sunday School, which was fun. We were talking about the pre mortal life, or what we were doing before we were born. It’s a very cool topic, I think.

During the 3rd hour we had a meeting for parents of youth and the youth themselves. We’ve got some great activities this year, so we were getting those all explained and we have a calendar of major dates for the youth this coming year. Yikes is the summer busy now! And we can’t have more than one or two snow days or fun activities will overlap with finals for G1.

Oatmeal and chocolate chips

After chuch we had a lovely linger longer where we had cocoa (put it in a crock pot if you’re serving a large group!) and cookies. There are more allergic kids now, so we had a table of gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods, which was awesome. Most of my cookies were devoured, which was also awesome. I made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Penguin Cookie JarI didn’t bring all the cookies to church, of course, because it was important to save some cookies for lunches and for snackses. Now our cute penguin cookie jar is filled with yummy cookies!

Over the past couple years we’ve had dinner with some friends and the missionaries on the second Sunday of every month. It’s a nice way to catch up with our friends, plus it’s a nice way for me, as a single mom of daughters, to visit with the missionaries. It’s against the rules for them to come to our house until we have a guy there, unless we import a guy from another family or have friends over. It’s just one reason I’m looking forward to being married!

MLP:FIM Cutie Mark Cupcakes

Our deal is that we swap off who makes the meal, but we always bring the dessert. Sometimes Gryffindor makes the whole dessert, sometimes I make the whole dessert, and sometimes there’s teamwork. This time I made the cupcakes, but Gryffindor and Ravenclaw teamed up to decorate them.

Just in case you aren’t totally obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I will clue you in that these are cutie marks for the different ponies. A cutie mark is something that appears on their flank that tells them their special talent and destiny. The 3 blank cupcakes are for the three characters (Cutiemark Crusaders) who are still waiting for their cutie marks.

The cutie marks are for (starting at top left and going across in rows:

  • Scootaloo, Mr. Carrot Cake, Mrs. Cake
  • Apple Bloom, Fluttershy, Rarity, Derpy
  • Applejack, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Princess Cadence
  • Sweetie Belle, Princess Celestia, Rainbow Dash, Shining Armor
  • Princess Luna, Lyra Heartstrings, Bonbon

Sadly, I only had to check a few of those. I’ve absorbed much more information than I thought I had.

Tonight when I started packing lunch my head started to really ache, worse than in quite a while. It’s time for sleep now.

Routines are changing

Subway stairsFor almost 5 years I’ve gone into Boston every Friday and returned every Saturday to spend time with The Chosen One. We’ll be closing on our house soon (allegedly this week or next), so our weekends completely away from the rest of my life are coming to an end. This weekend had some of our routines, but not all.

Every weekend I arrive by subway or commuter rail, and then we eat something and return to his house to watch something (or we eat and watch at the same time). It’s been a wonderful routine, and we’ve watched a lot of Psych and The Daily Show together.


In the mornings I take much more time to wake up than he does, so he lets me wake up while he does his own thing. Once we’re both moving around and coherent we go out grocery shopping. We have a routine of 3 shops, and even a (slightly neurotic on my part) order in which we go to each shop. It’s BJs, Trader Joe’s, and then Whole Foods, for anyone who cares. The first two rotate stock much more, so if I can’t find something at one of them then I’ll find it at Whole Foods (or at our area’s “regular” grocery store, Market Basket).

This weekend, though, I had a big meeting about potentially becoming a leader of the town’s Special Ed parent group. It was an interesting training, but I’ve cherished those hours, and I missed them. The meeting was important to my future and to the possibility of me helping the town and the other parents of kids with special needs in the town, but it still cut into my time. Thankfully, The Chosen One did my shopping for me, because he’s awesome, and all was well.

Both before and after my meeting we did still have some of our routines, and then we went out to look at paint swatches for the new house. I think we both found things we like, as well as things we’ll settle for. A wise man said that settling down means settling for. You’ll never find someone who is 100% perfect, so you take 81% and round up. :) So there are compromises, but I think we like the colors. Now to check with the girls. G1 was in a mood after not having much sleep the night before (she was on a church retreat overnight), so it wasn’t the right time for paint chip assessment.

Oatmeal cookies

When I get home I usually bake for the week, and that’s exactly what I started doing. I made two types of cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip and chocolate chip) as well as a set of cupcakes. The cookies are for this week’s lunches as well as for a linger longer (our Church‘s version of a coffee hour after church, but without the coffee) tomorrow. We’re having a little cocoa & cookies linger longer so the children can introduce their parents to their new Primary (aka Sunday school) teachers for the new year. The cupcakes are for our once-a-month dinner with friends. We alternate making the dinner, but we always bring the dessert. We’ll see what we do to the cupcakes tomorrow…

Creativity finds a way

Riffing on the Jurassic Park “life finds a way”…

Heart eggsToday at work I found out that we should be closing on our house in a week, two at the most! So exciting!

However, the rest of the day at work was painfully dull. We have an old lady who is our client, and my job once a year is to enter all 500 checks she wrote over the year into a spreadsheet. Blerg. My eyes were glazed over by the end. Oh, and it didn’t help my headache at all. I did get yummy food at Life Alive for lunch thanks to a gift certificate from my friend M, but that was the highlight of the work day.

chocolate orange breadAfter the younger two went with their dad I made eggs for Hufflepuff in the shape of hearts. Awww…

Next I followed a recipe on Rachael’s blog for chocolate orange bread, and just made it gluten-free. Oh my gosh it’s divine! I’m going to have to write up my tweaks on my recipe blog, because I absolutely cannot lose the recipe!

animal bunsNext I wanted to make animal buns like the cute pandas on Bento Monsters. I tweaked our pizza crust recipe, as that’s the most malleable dough I could think of, though the Chebe breadstick dough would probably be better. I want to try this again with a Chebe dough at some point.

I made pandas, white tigers, and penguins, hitting the top animals for G1, G3, and G2 respectively. I think they turned out pretty cute, even if they aren’t close to as cute as the Bento Monsters pandas. She doesn’t have to deal with sticky gluten-free dough. Plus, my girls were impressed. Usually Ravenclaw pooh poohs my creations, but she was happy.

animal painting

While the buns were baking I made lunches for tomorrow. It looks like Gryffindor is feeling well enough to go back to school, so I needed 3 lunches again. I decided to paint a few pieces of white cheddar so they would have a piece of cheese as well as their bread that was all cute and of their favorite animal. Those seem to have turned out pretty cute.

And now it’s bed time. Busy day tomorrow, and a busy weekend ahead.