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    Oh, Thanksgiving

    November 28th, 2015

    This past spring, our school district’s Schoolforce auctioned off a 4-day week-end at a home in Tahoe. We bid on it, with G and D and won. Catch was, house was only available over Thanksgiving. So off we went.

    This has been my first time not celebrating this holiday at our (or S’ sister’s home), and I feel pretty tied to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so between the two families we brought up everything. Kinda fun trying to guess what will be available at a rental when you have to prep a huge meal. I brought over some of my specialized items, and an extra pot, knowing on turkey day you can almost never have enough pots.

    In my many years of cooking I have learned that making as many of the dishes that can be cooked ahead of time the night before. As it just so happens, almost ALL of my dishes can be made the night before, so it makes for a pretty chill day of. G and I split the dishes, and while I was in charge of dressing, cranberry chutney, soup, and turkey brine, she took the actual bird cooking, the mashed potatoes and greenery. S contributed a pie, and D was in charge of wine selection. Score!

    Since we arrived at Tahoe it didn’t stop snowing. The kids seriously love it! We went sledding mid-day yesterday, while S who hadn’t skied in about 15 years took off for the day.

    Dinner was great. Kids did well, and it’s been an awesome time up here. I only wish I can convince BOTH our kids to go skiing so we can all have a day on the slopes. G is for it, S2 isn’t. Shocked? Me neither. He loved sledding though (except whenever any snow would actually touch his skin, when screaming commenced), and I’m trying to convince him that skiing is JUST like sledding, except you are standing up… and have two sleds: one for each foot. I’m working on this idea, though he’s likely not going to warm up to it on this visit.

    Wanna see pictures?

    Oh yeah — so… while the rest of us enjoyed a great turkey dinner, this was S2’s selection. You guessed it: PB&J. Yeah, he’s a cheap (and predictable) date.



























































    5 things

    November 22nd, 2015

    In an effort to try to keep the boys’ Christmas gift request down to something reasonable, I told them they can list 5 things. If they thought of a 6th item, they had to decide which of their previous 5 things they kicked to the curb.

    Why 5? I figured that was plenty for S, myself and our families for them.

    G, upon hearing the 5 limit rule started chuckling, and counting down his fingers

    G: That’s easy! I want: a computer…. a phone…. an iPad.

    Sure, kid! Want a car and a new mortgage while you’re at it?

    That thing that old men read

    November 8th, 2015

    S2 and I pulled up to our driveway today and noticing the Sunday paper in the driveway kicked off the following conversation:

    S2: Ugh! I hate it when people put their dirty trash in front of our house!

    Me: what are you talking about, buddy?

    S2: That thing on the side of your car.

    Me: [looking around] What ‘thing’?

    S2: What’s the thing that old men read called?

    Me: What? Do you mean the paper?

    S2: Yeah! The paper.

    Ah! To be 5, and know following the news only through digital media….

    Birthday photoshoot out-takes

    November 2nd, 2015

    On my way to work every day I drive by what feels like a magical forest. The light in the morning is spectacular as it breaks through the leaves, and I’m sure in the afternoon would be just as perfect. Observe my use of the phrase “would be”. Why? Well, I was all set to go there for S2’s 5th birthday photos. Got all the boys piled up in the car. Drove out 20 minutes… only to find that since it’s locked behind the gate of the YouTube campus. Damn you, YouTube! You have a fantastic set and you probably don’t even appreciate it. Also, damn you Google Maps for getting my hope up — no fencing off at the entranceway on those street-views.

    So… here we are, in a car, kids as ready as I can get them, with time running out (both of sunlight as well as time to finish a slideshow in time for birthday). And then I remembered Mills HS. It’d been on my list of locations for years, and I haven’t had need or opportunity to pull it out until that night. And it worked out perfectly. Probably better than the woods to be honest. Even G got in on the action.

    Speaking of G and action. Check ME out. I’m in photos again. Courtesy of G! Need to work on focus with this kid, but I’m enjoying being a visible part of the family 🙂
















    Happy 5th birthday to S2!

    November 1st, 2015




    Has it really been 5 years? Feels like it’s gone by so fast, yet that day feels so far away too.

    You have such a big, and expressive personality. You are not afraid to show your emotions, when you’re happy (and you jump up excitedly, or run to dish out hugs)…. and when you’re mad (with the yelling and the stomping). You’re working really hard to get yourself in check in the different settings. I know it’s harder for you, but you’re doing great.

    We’ve changed your life around a bit these past few months. A new classroom (with new rules), new teachers, homework to do every week, along with much less TV time overall and more responsibilities over yourself and our home. It’s a lot to take on, and I’m so proud of you for taking it in stride. I know more changes are in store for you next year too, but I feel confident you’ll rock it!

    You still remain a Lego fiend. Honestly, I hope this stays forever (though my bank account may live to regret it). You are continuing to make amazing creations, and each time they become more intricate, and more dynamic. I may be biased, but I think what you can do and how you think, some older kids can’t even keep up with. You get lost in your Lego world, and can live in that space for hours. I won’t lie: knowing I can send you off for Lego play while I grab a quick nap on a week-end has been really nice. Conversely, I’m your Lego piece finder which both drives me bonkers, but it’s also time I spend with you hanging out and talking that I cherish. You won’t always want me near you like that, so I’m happy to oblige. With that said, I’m probably more excited about the Lego sorted Grandma and Grandpa are getting you for your birthday than you ever will be.

    Sports are still not your thing. While a part of me regrets that you’re not as active as your brother, I know you because you’re like me in that regard. If I can get you to overcome your fear of heights, though, I KNOW you will love climbing, and I’m looking forward to having you try it.

    You are appreciated by the kids in your group of friends and that makes me happy. You like playing with girls as well as you do with the boys, and I love that you give them all equal opportunity.

    I don’t know how many more years in a row I’ll keep saying that you’re still a picky eater. Maybe this will be the last? God, I hope it is! You’re expanding your list of foods up little by little, but it’s at a snail’s rate. Please, oh please get a little better about this by next school year? Your goto of peanut butter sandwich won’t cut it in school, so we gotta get you onto something you will eat and school will let you bring in.

    You love to do art. On your homework while you can get away with one picture you do at least three. Grandma would be so proud!

    (Warning: the following video contains S2’s favorite song. If you finally got What Does the Fox Say from bouncing around your ear drums, you might want to put it on mute)

    What is your name? S****
    DO you know your full name? S**** V R**** Zane. R**** Zane? Yeah, cuz that’s my nickname. Zane’s my nickname
    How old are you about to be? 5!
    What’s your favorite color? Turqoise?
    Who are your best friends? Danny. Parker. Sophie. Georgina?
    What’s your favorite book? Uh, Elfquest! Elquest? That’s a great book! Yeah, I really like it
    What’s your favorite movie? Ugh [pause] The Lego Movie
    What’s your favorite TV show? Phineas and Ferb. Oh yah. And Pokemon, and ugh Batman, aaaaand… Digimon. That’s a lot of shows!
    What’s your favorite animal? Ugh… Diego’s pet. Diego’s pet? What’s diego’s pet? A jaguar! Oh yeah, why the jaquar your favorite? Because he’s so tiny and cute!
    What’s your favorite food? Mac & Cheese! Popular choice in this house!
    What’s your favorite shirt? I’ll show you. This shirt. Oh, the help keep it clean shirt? Yeah! Why do you like it? Because I like the animals. I like every animal
    What advice can you give me? What’s advice?
    What’s your favorite toy? Legos
    What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a policeman! No! A fire fighter.