The Common Mommy Denominator

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Friday, February 27, 2009

I Must've Forgot to Mention...

Roman is a genius.
Who is Roman, you ask? My stylist. He does my husband's hair...has done my sister's, my sister-in-law's, a woman from church I sent to name it, he's on it. Even my mom wants to go to him, and I hope she does because he's fabulous. Wonderful. Terrific. And straight, which amazes me, but is completely beside the point.
Anyway, my hair was in need of some help. I've been letting it grow out for some time, and it doesn't seem to have gotten any longer, but Jason (and Roman) pointed out that the last time I went it, he cut it pretty short to even it out (and get rid of the A-line, which is still my favorite cut), so it's taking a while to grow long again. To give it some shape, he put some layers into it. And Jason loves it, and for that matter, so do I. Because Roman is a genius. See? (FYI...the photos are totally untouched, so don't look too me.)

Good stuff. (I was headed to the gym right after that, hence the outfit, but lemme tell ya, it held up until I showered. GENIUS!) Love that guy. Anyone looking for a stylist? Because lemme tell ya, I've got one for you!!! (And he's actually very reasonably priced considering what he could get in Beverly or Newport or where-have-you!) Just ask, and his info is yours! LOVE that guy!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time in the Kitchen

Yeah, so...I'm mildly obsessive. (When I say mildly, what I mean is generally.) But the thing is, my favorite stalls at the farmer's markets are the Mediterranean Food stops where I can buy flatbread (or pitas, depending), tzatziki, cucumber salad, hummus, what-have-you. Oh, and I have a thing for beautiful veggies. I'm not talking beautiful in appearance...I'm talking about small farm organic yumminess beautiful. (Don't get me started...let's just say I believe it in.)

And lately I've been thinking to myself, why am I buying this stuff premade when I could do it on my own?!

I know, I know, because it's easier. Yes, that's true...but it costs a HECKUVA lot more for much less than you'd get if you made it.
Case in point: Cucumber salad. What is it? Put simply, my favorite fresh prepackaged salad, consisting of the following: peeled, seeded, drained and diced cucumber, diced tomato, chopped green onions, minced garlic, salt, pepper, a shot of vinegar, and a drizzle of EVOO. And it's $4 for about a half pound at the FM. So I bought myself a couple of cukes, a good sized tomato, and a bunch of green onions (of which I used 3), chopped up some garlic I already had, and used the artisanal olive oil and a touch of red wine vinegar in my cupboard with some freshly ground pepper and freshly ground sea salt to guessed it!...Cucumber salad. About 8 cups of the stuff. For about $4. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm.

Did I say Yum? 'Cuz what I meant was UUUUGHRRGHGHGHAAAGGHGHHH. (Think Homer Simpson.)

So what else? Well, I had to try making my own flatbread...and though they came out okay, they were too salty and not fluffy enough. Back to the drawing board on that one.

Then there was the tzatziki; Greek yogurt + finely crumbled feta + minced garlic + more peeled, salted and drained diced cucumber = Tzatziki heaven.

Oh, and hummus: plain hummus, artichoke hummus, and jalapeno-cilantro hummus thus far, but I think I need to use less tahini paste. And for those of you wondering what the heck tahini paste is, it's basically roasted sesame seed paste, like peanut butter with a funky flavor. (Come to think of it, for those wondering what hummus is, it's Mediterranean bean dip made from garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and water to thin it down a anything else you want to put into it, as, in my case, either chopped artichoke hearts or pickled jalapenos and chopped cilantro.) I'm still learning on that one, too, but it's worked out okay so far! (Why didn't I take any pictures?!)

Been on a serious soup kick later...from Flapper Food's Italian Wedding Soup (Butterfly Soup to the kids, who think bowtie pasta is butterfly pasta) to any number of veggie bisques. The most recent ones are pictured here and range from Squash and Corn soup (Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, and Summer Squash with onion and garlic and all sorts of Southwestern-y spices, plus a can of whole kernel drained yellow corn) to Zucchini Soup (my new classic standby, this as zucchini-y as I could make it!) to Red Bell Pepper and Tomato Soup...I knew a guy who served a mission in Italy and made pasta sauce with red pepper and tomato and onion, and then added cinnamon. Sounds super-weird, I know, but it's oddly yummy and makes a great soup!

Finally, of course, there is pesto. I've never been willing to try to make it because Buitoni makes this phenomenal pesto and I couldn't stand the idea that mine wouldn't be as good...not to mention I own a BLENDER, and it seemed that a blender couldn't possibly work as well as a food processor or - the preferred method - a mortar and pestle (which I wouldn't have the strength or patience for, anyway), so I've never tried...until I had this giant basil surplus, and realized I own a veritable tankard of Greek Kalamata Olive Oil, and that ages ago my mom gave me some walnuts that have been hanging out in the back of the fridge, and I had that garlic, and some fresh grated Parmesan, and...well, I was out of excuse and needed to use of the basil before it went south. Whoda thunk a blender could churn out such awesome stuff?!?! Not to mention it's the single most beautiful batch of GREEN I've ever seen! That, and all told, with what I "needed" to buy, I spent...$1 on 8 oz of pesto! (It's about $6 for the same amount in the store!)

So...there's the food front. (I made zucchini bread too, but that's nothing special, all things considered, and not a "staple" that I decided to make myself.) I'm going to try the flatbread again once I find a better recipe, and in the meantime, I'll be sucking down veggie soup at a rate of 16 oz a day (great way to get the kids to love veggies!) and swirling pesto into those soups when I'm not stirring it into hot pasta...folding tzatziki into pitas with a schmear of hummus...spooning cucumber salad on top of lettuce and drizzling it all with more oil and vinegar...and just generally enjoying my homemade yums.

Let me know if you want a recipe...otherwise, enjoy the photos! Love and fully tummies to all!

Speaking of Kidstuff

Jason has been attempting to teach Tyler that ladies go first...mostly through doors.

This has proved a particularly trying concept for my sweet little man, who believes wholeheartedly in healthy (?) competition.

So Jason sweetened the Ladies' First deal: if the girls go first and the boys go last, the boys win!

Hey, you do whatchoo gotta do, ya know?

But there's something even MORE important to Tyler, we've realized, and that's coming in DEAD LAST. Why, you ask? The reason is simple:

The person who comes in last gets to Rot an Egg.

Yeah, I scratched my head too.

No, they're not the Rotten Egg, or at least not as far as Tyler is concerned. Instead, they Get to Rot an Egg.

We're not sure what that means, exactly, but apparently it's quite an honor.

Not that we've SEEN him rot an egg, or that we'd know what that would look like, aside from placing an egg outside in the sunshine and letting it, well, sit there for, well, ever...or at least until rotten. And that's not necessarily an appealing idea, particularly considering the fact that we live in a very confined space with very small and more or less enclosed "yards" of concrete. Opening a door might prove too potent for us to handle.

So we let Tyler "win" by letting the girls go first, and when he thinks about it, we also make sure he's the one who gets to rot an egg. Yay!...uh huh.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Aaaaah, the things kids say.

By the way, in case you were wondering, this entry is mostly just for me so I don't forget the funny little things my kids say. If you're one of those types of people that thinks "Ugh, another kid-speak story," skip this one.

Tyler tells all sorts of stories about his days at school...and when he's explaining something, he goes into great detail.

Take this story, for example: "Leo was running and he scraped his head on a pole...butcept, it was kind of a bonkscrape. Butcept he didn't bleed, so they just put an iceberg on it and he got all better." Yes, folks...a bonkscrape. And an iceberg. But the best part is Butcept, which is used in place of EXcept ALL the time. (I've never heard him say except, even when I've repeated his statement using except: "Except he didn't bleed?" "Butcept he didn't even bleed!" "Okay, then.") I don't know whether I hope he figures out except or not.

Then there's Mikayla, who recently christened semi-trucks with a new - and much cuter, if not ncessearily more appropriate - name: ChooChooTrucks. (It actually sounds more like ChuhChuhTwucks, of course, but that's beside the point.)

But our favorite Mikayla moment came the other day while Goo was watching Diego. Click the Camera was showing the kids pictures of various animals asking if that particular animal was an iguana. Anyway, that's the backstory. Here's the Click & Mia conversation:

Click: "Is THIS animal an iguana?"

Mia: "Naaooooo! Itcha muppet!"

Click: "No? Well, what kind of animal is it?"

Mia: "Itcha MUPPET!!!!!!"

(At this point Jason and I are scratching our heads and waiting with baited breath for Click to explain Kermit's presence on Diego, or to let us in on what Mikayla believes is a muppet.)

Click: "That's right! It's a rabbit!"

I don't think we've ever laughed so hard.

And now that I've had a few moments to reflect on the cuteness of my kids, it's time to take up my motherly responsibilities once more and go sweep the drain on the other side of our patio fence (yes...the drain on the neighbor's side). The water's a half-inch deep from the rain already, and I'd really rather wade through a half-inch of water to sweep a drain with my kitchen broom than soak up rain water from my living room carpet. (I've already soaked up water with our bathroom towels in the kitchen before when the BACK patio drain on the neighbor's side was plugged, and I can honestly say I'm really not up for it again.) My condolences to those of you (Cory) who will shortly be receiving our rain as a blizzard in your yard, and hope that Mia's Muppet gave you at least a couple warm fuzzies.

Wish my boots luck!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Doesn't it EVER END?!

For those of you not yet aware, Jason has a new calling. Yes, he got released from the Bishopric because he's just too bloody busy what?, about a month ago? Yes, he was called to be the ward finance clerk and has been doing that (in conjunction with the OTHER ward finance clerk) since. But so what if you're too busy...already have a calling...can't find time to breathe? THIS IS THE GOSPEL, PEOPLE!

So he's got a new calling. And it's quite feasibly the ONE calling he NEVER EVER EVER WANTED (aside from Bishop, of course): Young Men's President.

Which means, of course, he'll be back attending PEC...Ward Council...BYC...AP meeting...and, mind you, Mutual every Tuesday night, not including the obligatory campouts and other such activities. During busy season. Which is still going on. Right now.

But what can you do when your ward's YM president hitails it to the Tongan ward to escape the YM? I'll tell call the one man who cannot be touched by the ridiculous politics of our ward: Brother Bradshaw.


So wish him luck, people, and while you're at it...pray for us.

Friday, February 6, 2009

He Sure Told Me!

Tyler was in trouble yesterday for something-or-other, and I sent him to his room for time out, as usual. "Tyler, go sit on your bed!"

His response? An obnoxious and defiant "FINE!"

My reply? "And you better watch your mouth when you speak to your mother, too!"

And then the colloquialism was revealed as just that: a colloquialism. His frustrated return? "I CAN'T SEE MY MOUTH WHEN I'M SPEAKING TO YOU!"

DUH, MOM. How can I possibly watch my mouth when I talk to you?

And I struggled to remain stern, but lost in the end because, let's face it: he sure told me!