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.


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.


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.


Hours and hours of driving

That’s the theme for today. Hours and hours of driving.

I took the day off work so we could bring Hufflepuff to a town an hour and a half away to meet her boyfriend. The boyfriend she Skypes constantly but hadn’t met in person yet.

She got dressed very carefully, and wore some cute flats my mom had given her. The flats were a good idea. The dress was cute, and modest (she didn’t want to look slutty for his parents).

We met up at my friend S’s house, and we drove down with her and her family. My friend S has a sister who lives in the town, so it worked out beautifully. Her kids got to see their aunt, Hufflepuff got to meet her boyfriend, Gryffindor got to spend the day with her BFF L (S’s oldest daughter), and I got to spend the day with my friend. It was all good. (Ravenclaw wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed home with The Chosen One, who was working from home).

Hufflepuff’s boyfriend comes up to her shoulder. It’s cute. His parents are about that height, too. They seemed very nice, for the short amount of time I spent talking with them. Hufflepuff said his whole family was nice.

S was truly awesome and drove us around to 3 comic book shops so Gryffindor could hunt for something (which she didn’t find, but she did find some other cool stuff). And then we all watched Frozen. Funnily enough Hufflepuff and her boyfriend watched Frozen, too, but they watched it alone rather than in a room with little kids.

Other than all the driving (which is annoying) it was a fun day. I’m glad we could make it happen. And I’m incredibly grateful that S was willing to drive!


Blerg

I am still having GI troubles.

I went to work, though. Lots of talk about the marathon, and the office manager was playing the feed from the marathon all morning.

After work I came home to find out that Ravenclaw needed me to drive her to her friend’s house. But right as we got in the car they pulled up! :) And they brought her home later, too.

I went back to bed. It was nice.

I did manage to cook dinner (ish). Does spaghetti, reheated sauce, and fried tofu count? The girls (allegedly) cleaned up afterwards.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better. Today was a little better than yesterday, but nothing tasted right and the food smelled wrong. :(

Not a good way to start off the girls’ spring break, but since I have to go to work, it doesn’t matter all that much to me that it’s spring break. Though I do get to sleep in a bit, which is nice.

It was nice knowing The Chosen One was home with them today. Made me feel safe. They’re pretty safe on their own, but it does feel safer to have an adult at home.

So here’s hoping even more that tomorrow goes well. The Chosen One will be at work and Gryffindor is going to my mom’s house. So I’m hoping I feel better and I hope that Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw don’t kill each other when they’re home alone.


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.