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Friday, May 29, 2009

bubbles, brothers, and (still) being bad

the bean and i spent day two of "mommy and me" time just chillin' at the casa. she'd gone to storytime at the library with her grandma, and when i walked in the door she'd just fallen asleep. after sitting quietly for the stories and songs, then running amok in the children's section, coloring, and playing with the toys, they went home and had some lunch, and she passed out cold on the couch not long afterwards. she's far from being a difficult child anyway, but i'm really glad she's making it so easy for MIL during this first week.

having missed her like mad and a little bummed that she was knocked out (as usual, i'm super sappy mom, shut up), i sat next to her as she slept and ate my ginormous pastrami sandwich that MIL thoughtfully brought for me from the hat. she'd also picked up a coke to go with it, which i was sucking down like there was no tomorrow until i remembered my vow from the previous day to abstain from soda for a couple of days. oops. well, i'd already fucked it up with the gastronomical concoction i was plowing through, so i figured, eh, whatever. i could (and should have) seriously have stopped eating after i polished off the first half, but nooooo. i just kept on going. ha!

when she finally woke up, she rubbed her eyes, got a nice big stretch in, sat up, and held her little arms out to me. i love when she does that.

and we cuddled for a while before she decided it was playtime, and thrust the bubble wand at me. "buuuu-bowwwww. mom! buuuu-boowwwww!"

then i subjected her to another mini-photo shoot.

later, as i perused my facebook page, a picture of the teen's most favorite boys on the face of this earth caught my eye. their next webcast was scheduled for later that afternoon, and although the teen wasn't around, i decided to check it out.

i sent the teen a text message to see if she was watching, and although she doesn't have facebook, she was indeed tuned in. so [sappy mom alert #2] i continued to watch, feeling as though i were a little closer to her as we sat 25 miles apart and viewed the same thing at the same time. the bean, playing close by, heard the music playing and trotted right over to check things out. she got really excited when she saw the jonas brothers on the screen. "oooooooh!" she breathed.

and then she stared, entranced, for a few minutes before climbing up onto my lap to watch the rest of the webcast with me. the entire hour, folks. hilarious.

after i got her down for the night, i decided it was a great time to have some ice cream. then i remembered the delectable-looking ben & jerry's treats i'd picked up the day before, and i scurried right over to the freezer and pulled one out.

it was a complete dessert, meant to be flipped over and served upside-down. i wondered how that would work out, since it was frozen and stuck inside a paper cup, but those clever folks at ben & jerry's thought of everything: they'd placed a little perforated circle on the bottom of the cup. i poked my finger through, slid the whole concoction out onto a paper plate, and pulled off the cardboard circle that covered the top. or bottom. whatever.

this is "flipped out": peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter swirls throughout, topped with chocolate sauce and fudge chips, all sitting on a layer of brownie chunks. oh mah gah, it was fantastic.

so much for that 30-day shred. pwah!

a little good mixed in with the bad

okay, so before the awesome junk food extravaganza of yesterday, i did manage to crank out a semi-healthy dinner while the hub was still home. we love the gnocchi carbonara recipe that i've made a few times, and this is a bit of a twist on that one.

i'm a pretty faithful subscriber to the rachael ray magazine - as much as i really don't care for her all that much, there are always some great-looking meal ideas in there. plus it's all colorful and fun to read and stuff, so it appeals to the 6-year-old in me that needs visual aids to comprehend fully. and it was in the current issue that i found her asparagus carbonara - but of course, the recipe is nowhere to be found on the website. crap.

it was super easy to make, though - the most time-consuming part of it was cooking the bacon. as i twittered (tweeted? whatever, you know what i'm talking about) that night, i think my subconscious makes it a point to seek out recipes that feature my favorite pork product. sweet.

the bean, already a big pasta fan, dug into the noodles so fast and furious that she ended up with some on her head.

as always, if you want the recipe, drop me an e-mail and i'll get it to you, stat.

the magazine was also the inspiration for one of the items i picked up at the grocery store yesterday. when i was younger, i used to love those hostess cream pies that came in that stiff, crackly paper wrapper. now you know i didn't pick out the gross cherry and apple ones, right? oh, no. i went for the good stuff - the lemon and chocolate cream versions. and as i perused the current issue, the recipe for fried chocolate pudding hand pies jumped out at me. i hopped online to bookmark it for future use, but the seed was planted - i had to have one right away. i didn't want to make the recipe, because i sure didn't want to have SIX of these sitting around when i'm the only one home to eat 'em.

just like when i was little, the chocolate ones aren't as easy to find as its fruity counterparts, so i was really surprised to find them in the first store i checked. yay for me!

lest you believe i stuffed the bean full of nothing but bad stuff yesterday, i present evidence to the contrary:

and these i haven't even busted open yet.

this is my current addiction. i can't seem to go a day without at least a handful of this stuff in my mouf:

and although i haven't bought cookies since we moved into the thimble and i turned into betty freaking crocker, i couldn't resist these, for old times' sake - especially since they were on sale.

man, this is so bad. i seriously need to bust out that bitch jillian michaels and do the 30-day shred. ASAP.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

bye bye, hello kitty

yeah, it was time to change up the background again. no more of this:

but i'm sure i'll get bored with this one just as quickly. i'm fickle like that.

when the hub's away, wan will play

well, if you consider lounging around doing not a single damn productive thing and eating a ri-gosh-dang-diculous amount of junk food "playing," anyway. crap, i hope he doesn't read this post. he'll karate chop my ass. okay, not really, but read on...

because with the hub off on a quasi-road trip with his pops and the teen at her dad's, that leaves me and the bean home alone to run amok. we went to the grocery store and scooped up an embarrassingly obscene variety of snacky-snacks, came home, played and read books together, and watched the laker game.

and for lunch, instead of putting her in the high chair (like a good mom would do), i let her stroll around the living room, munching on her chicken nuggets. then i giggled with her as she sat in her bouncy chair (the one she's far too big for, but loves to death), shredded the last nugget with her fingers, and tossed the pieces across the carpet. since mollydog was on the patio, having been put outside while we went to the store, i let her in and used her as a vacuum cleaner. lemme tell you, she's far more effective than the dirt devil. not a crumb was left anywhere.

for dinner, i made the most awesomely half-assed lazy girl's version of shrimp fried rice that ever was. i mean, it was the silliest looking shrimp fried rice i've ever seen - so much so that i couldn't even bear to take a picture of it. hey, it may have looked funky, but it sure was tasty. bonus! and, um, i may have washed it down with copious amounts of soda. i don't think i've had this much soda in one day in a long, long time. i've got to step away from the coca-cola tomorrow. and probably friday, too. yikes.

as i was cleaning up afterwards, i heard a giggle behind me. i turned around and then couldn't stop laughing when i found this:

of course, what did i do? well, it WASN'T "take the bag off so my kid wouldn't bump into shit and hurt herself." oh, no. i lunged for the camera to capture it to share with you.

after she wandered around with the bag over her head for a while (of course, totally sneaking peeks every so often), giggling and babbling the whole time, she whipped it off triumphantly.

to cap it off, i let her go to sleep in her t-shirt and shorts. haha! didn't even change her into pajamas. it's like a freaking free-for-all around here. and it's only day one - the hub and the teen don't get home till friday.

man alive, it's days like this when i'm shocked that i'm allowed to be a parent. muahahahahahaha!

oh, check it out: i finally managed to catch a few of the bean's words on video.

please ignore my whiny-sounding prompting.

and here's another - it cracks me up when she damn near falls over while doing "itsy bitsy spider."

and in this one, please ignore my horribly off-key singing. i know i'm no carrie underwood, mmkay?

i wonder what kind of shenanigans we'll get into tomorrow. we really shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time, methinks. heh.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

just like riding a bike

getting back in the game was easier than i thought it would be.

and lucky for me, there's a coffee bean just across the street from my new office! score! but, true to our downsizing/saving vow, i'm restricting myself to a once-a-week treat. CBTL's stuff is so much more delicious than starbucks, so i'm pretty excited. see, it's the little things.

when i pulled in, i was amused/impressed at the car parked next to me.

of course, my little 4-hour-a-day gig won't get me a bentley, but it's cool to park next to one. heh. for the price of one of those things, i could have more than half a dozen pri-yes..es (pluralizing that is a little tricky).

the job itself is cake. i almost feel like a thief accepting the pay for what i'm doing. of course, it's a new office and everything is new and not quite set up, so i'm not exactly stepping into a well-oiled machine or anything, but i like it that way. i can set things up and get it all organized my way, without having to redo anything. sweet!

look, swanky potty:

i would be lying if i said i didn't miss the bean every nanosecond i was gone, though. as soon as my four hours was over, i was speeding home (not caring that i was killing my super duper average mpg) and walked in the door just as MIL was picking her up from a nice 2-hour long nap. excellent! it was an easy morning for them both, and now she was ready to play with me. so when MIL left, i packed her up and we went to the park.

i think that the few hours i'm separated from her only makes me appreciate our time together more. so this part-time-work idea looks like it's going to be a good thing...for a while, anyway.

i forgot to share a few fun pics from over the weekend. after an hour of playing at the park, we went to barnes & noble to look at books. her favorite these days is the very hungry caterpillar, and she was entranced by this giant version of it:

it's almost bigger than she is, yes?

while perusing other books, she found a stuffed caterpillar that went with her favorite story.

when she was over the books, we trotted over to the DVD/CD section, and she listened to some music.

and this is totally unrelated, but i think it's funny - the grizzly cafe, which is where we go for dinner out up in wrightwood, is half-cafe, half gift shop. the shop is crammed full of all sorts of knick-knacky shit. you know the kind of stuff i'm talking about. and while we waited for a table, the bean decided to go check things out. do you love the hat?

okay, that's all i got.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

food makes up for bad basketball

i spent all day yesterday thinking it was sunday. ha! i get confused pretty easily.

it started out with lovely, yummy dim sum with r and one of my other awesome cousins, lakerfan. yes, his name could totally apply for pretty much all of my family, but when i think lakers, i always think of him. we've managed to make a tradition of sorts whenever r is in town to get together and grub down on some tasty little treats at various dim sum places, and today's venue was full house in arcadia. it's not my favorite place, but it's easy to get to and cheap as hell.

to r's surprise, the hub (not a big dim sum fan) actually came along this time. it'd been quite a while since she had seen him, so it was nice for them to catch up a bit. and the bean had fallen asleep in the car on the way, so she spent the entire time cuddled in her daddy's arms. although we don't keep the house silent for when she sleeps, it was really noisy in there and we were pretty amazed that she snoozed so soundly.

as we were seated, out of the corner of my eye i spy a little person walk up to lakerfan and tap him on the shoulder. and when i focused my attention on him, i realized it was a family member i haven't seen in a long time. we turned our heads and saw his little brother and dad sitting at a nearby table. and why is this significant?

well, this was m's family - close family of that man. and i hadn't seen them (nor anyone on that side of the family) in over a year - not since the teen and i quietly sat in the back of the church at her memorial service. as r and lakerfan got up to go and say hello, i struggled silently with the decision of whether or not to join them. i glanced frantically at the hub, who encouraged me to go, and so i did, wondering with each step whether or not i would be welcomed or ignored. i really hoped for the former, as my relationship with m's husband (to whom i was actually related to) had always been a good one.

my worries were laid to rest as i received not the icy glare i half expected, but a warm smile. i went in for a hug and was hugged back, and my overwhelming feeling of awkwardness dissolved instantly. we all chatted for a while, and then we said our goodbyes and went back to our table.

i often ponder how it would go if i ran into anyone from that side of the family while out and about. and i must say that out of all the folks to stumble upon, i'm really glad it was them. i've thought of them often and hoped they were doing okay in the wake of their devastating loss, and they seem to be doing well. i guess i didn't really doubt it - i always thought of them as a close-knit, loving family. life goes on, and i hope they're living it to the fullest.

oh, check this out - i was so stoked when i went to fill the gas tank in the pri-YES!:

hell, the X5 took twice that - and more. although i admit that i miss the little luxuries and gadgets in that car, every time i think of this (and watch the real-time mpg display consistently show 30+), i forget all about 'em. i. love. my. car.

i also got a really brilliant idea today for a fun road trip to do this summer with my little family. we caught a showing of "cars" on the disney channel the other day, and i suppose i was subconsciously influenced by it, because i think it would be fantastic to road trip along the original route 66 - all the way to chicago! while this may sound like lunacy to some, it's actually something i think the teen would dig. there's so much history and fun stuff to be found all along the route, and we'd cross eight different states along the way. i'm reading that it's historically incorrect to go from west to east, so we may just make up our own route to chicago and then hit up 66 on the way home. i'm finding so many different sites and blogs with helpful information, maps, tips, etc. and i think it'll be super fun.

to cap off our weekend, the hub picked up stuff at the grocery store to make dinner that we could enjoy as we watched the laker game. check out these ginormous hunks o'meat:

we had some broccoli & cheese and stuffed baked potatoes to go with them:

and i'd baked some delicious chocolate & peanut butter chip cookies earlier today. holy cow, i'm gonna explode.

at least dinner was good, since the lakers sucked ass tonight. sheesh.

Monday, May 25, 2009

fun, more fun, and - oh.

lots of little bits and pieces to share, but none enough to devote an entire post to. i hereby present monday randomness:

cousin r, my MOH and the teen's ninang (godmother), is in town till today for a friend's wedding. we were lucky enough to meet up with her on thursday afternoon so she could see the teen for a late birthday treat:

we were at santa anita mall, to wander and check out the new promenade section that just opened. i was surprised to find out that it was outdoors, which is pretty but makes for some hot & sweaty shoppin'.

beard papa has their own cute little kiosk/bungalow thingy, with cute little seating between it and the smoothie joint.

it was nice to see r and chat and catch up, and i'm also excited to meet up with her later today to have some dim sum. she's getting as many ethnic eats as she can in one weekend. denver doesn't exactly offer a whole lotta diversity in the food department.

the bean is getting the hang of the coloring thing. she hasn't put the crayolas in her mouth in quite a while, since she discovered that rubbing 'em on paper (and tables) is way more fun.

she found one of my socks under the couch and decided it'd be a great idea to put one on like a glove, and then try to fish crackers out of her snack trap. and then go "shopping," with the dog looking on.

"gawd, mom, do you have to take pictures so stinking close-up? geez."

at the ILs', she has her own set of toys, including a baby doll stroller that she loves to push around. and when she gets tired, she likes to squeeze her own tushie into it and watch tv.

have you seen the jack-in-the-box commercial for their mini sirloin burgers? the one with the midget? i was humming the song as i sat in the drive-thru, waiting for mine. they're really tasty, btw. i just wish i'd known that bacon was an option when i ordered 'em. ah well, next time.

last week was a bit of a zucchinipalooza at the wan house. i made some delicious honey butter zucchini bread (with hand-grated zucchini, yo):

then, i made a zucchini pasta recipe using a rachael ray recipe. it's out of one of her books, so i can't find it online, but if you want it, e-mail me. it's a great veggie recipe, although i couldn't help but sprinkle my own serving (and the hub's) with some bacon bits.

the bean's learning how to use a spoon all by her own self! i handed her a mini yogurt cup and let her go to town. she was mostly successful, but she gets bored using the spoon and tries to take a short cut. cheaters never win, honey.

and, the last bit of randomness. it's truly mind-bottling (i hope you've seen "blades of glory," because if not, you'll just think i'm dumb. well, you might anyway, so that'd just add to it).

remember the bio-dad saga? i hadn't forgotten that they were supposedly planning to move back sometime this year. and i was getting periodic e-mails from his wife - although mostly invitations to join some shitty networking websites that i usually declined. i'll never understand why he always chooses to have his relatives contact me rather than give it the ol' college try himself. anyway, i happened to check my facebook the other day (who am i kidding - i look at that thing practically hourly, thanks to the app on my trusty iPhone) and found an e-mail from her on it. i clicked immediately.

it basically said "we're here," gave an address and phone number, and "hope to see you soon, we're leaving for the homeland on the 28th." [needle scratches off of record]

huh? i literally shook my head and made the scooby-doo noise. so i e-mailed her back to ask if they were coming back after that trip, or if they were going back to stay. this weekend was jam-packed already, and with my new gig starting tomorrow, that didn't really leave much time for a visit.

after a couple more confusing responses, i finally got the story. they've been here for two weeks and have just been "too busy" to contact me any sooner. their kids are going back to the homeland to start college, and so they've decided to stay there for at least two more years. they won't be moving back here after all, but "please stay in touch and give our regards to your family.

yeah, okay. whatever. just another incident to file away in the "super disappointing and yet absolutely not shocking" category.

i'm just going to enjoy my last day as a jobless mofo and move on. happy memorial day indeed.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...