Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crazy ladies!!

For our friend Laura's birthday, Olympia and I decided that we needed to do something "fun." So what do three 30-something moms do for fun? We had no idea, so we decided to do something that teenagers might do (they're always having fun, right?), so we planned a surprise scavenger hunt at the mall. Of course, it would have been really fun for Olympia and I to just make Laura do all of the humiliating stunts, but then we figured being her birthday and all, we might want to spread the humiliation around.

We brainstormed dozens of tasks, but eventually narrowed it down to just over a dozen. Knowing full well that we might pull out any one for ourselves, we were quick to get rid of the ones that were just too humiliating. We also allowed each one of us a pass option which allowed you to pull a different task from the bag. However, if you picked out the same on another turn, you had to do it.

Here are the stunts that made the cut:

1. Carry on a conversation with a mannequin - make sure there are other customers around, and comment on what a jerk the mannequin is for ignoring you.

2. Go into the bathroom and make a veil out of toilet paper. Wear it out of the bathroom, walking the way a bride goes down the aisle.

3. Put a balloon under your shirt and pretend you are pregnant. Complain loudly of your aching back.

4. Go to a Taco Bell and order a Whopper. Insist that you want a whopper no matter what they say. Finally give in and say: "fine, I'll have a Big Mac."

5.Sing Yankee doodle at the Yankee candle store and get someone to sing with you.

6.Make a loud passing gas sound in a bathroom stall.

7.Dance to the music from a store in a style of your choosing for one minute .

8,9,10.Pick some thing to wear for the rest of the evening, out of the prop bag.
(we had this one in there three time so everyone can only draw it once)

11.Get a handful of pennies and pretend to be bowling and toss them in to the fountain.

12.Stand in a prominent place, like a statue, wearing several items from the prop bag for 3 minutes.(You may change your pose once.)

13.Try on a pair of boots and walk around the store singing:These were made for walking and that's just what they'll do...

14.Pretend to be talking on the phone using your hand, in cell phone store then ask an associate in that store for an accessory, of your choosing, to fit your "hand held" phone.

15.Get a balloon out of the prop bag make it into your baby, then take the little tyke into a baby store and ask for help getting something that will fit junior.

We printed out the tasks on a piece of paper, then on the other side printed out the "prize" which was that we were taking Laura out to dinner at her choice of two places. It was sort of like a puzzle that she had to put together after we finished doing the scavenger hunt.

Okay, now that you have the background, here are the pictures (and video!)

As luck would have it, on both Olympia and Laura's first turns, they got to pick out a prop to wear the rest of the night.

Who is that great looking mannequin!??!

Laura's big day!

What was amazing about Olympia talking to the mannequins was how good she was at making small talk! You should have heard her: "What a great dog, whose is he?" "Now I see you are all dressed warmly, do you have plans to go outside?" By the way, she carried on a one way conversation for about 2 minutes. Not bad!

Laura with her bundle of joy. Although, and my math may be wrong, I'm thinking she may have been expecting before she got hitched!

What a beautiful dress - anything looks good with gold skin!

Oh my goodness! These cell-phone guys were HILARIOUS!!! Olympia approaches the kiosk talking on her hand, and asks what kind of accessories they've got. Without missing a beat, the salesman says he thinks he might have a glove that would fit. Reaches into a drawer and pulls out an imaginary glove. Olympia "tries it on" and asks how much. "$49.95" Of course, she says it is a little steep and no thank you, but once you put the glove on, they can't take it back. She tries paying with imaginary money, but they only take the real thing. Luckily for Olympia, her hand rung and she had to take the call, so we made our escape!

Maybe this one will be a girl!

Thank heavens for this great couple!!! Laura was walking around the store singing lightly under her breath, praying for a miracle that these two customers would spontaneously join her in the song. Eventually she asked them, and this guy jumped right in! Makes you feel good to be a part of humanity!

We survived!!!!

Laura's mini-cake after dinner.


I know, I know. I have been posting like crazy. It is just that we have been snowed in since Sunday night and I can't believe how many little projects and chores I have gotten done since I don't have to worry about taking kids to school, appointments, or piano lessons. There are just so many more hours in a day! But don't worry, I am almost caught up, and then I am sure that I won't post for another 3 or 4 months!

This is a collection of pictures I've taken of the kids over the last 4 months. As you will soon see, my kids pretty much always look a mess. I really don't know how other moms do it - you know, the ones whose kids always look so neat and clean - hair combed, coordinated outfits, clean hands. I stick to the basics - clean diapers!!!

Antonio and Domenic taking a nap.

Domenic really has no choice but to like trains - his brothers play trains every day!

Roman posing for the camera.

This is on Antonio's birthday, so it is back in October.

Quinton made a thrown/fort - the orange boxes were very important (apparently). I know this because after I took apart his thrown and he redid it the next day, I had to get the boxes out of the recycling bin since the chair wasn't complete without them.

Domenic. I think that is sweet potato on his face. Or maybe carrots.

In the Sunday paper Quinton found this ad for a Disney train. He decided he wanted it, so he cut out the form and filled out the card. I took a picture since I was quite impressed with his initiative. Of course, he was disappointed when I told him that we weren't going to send for it. ("Quinton, that costs money and I don't want to buy it." "But Mom, just go to the bank and get some money out!!!")

But his diaper is clean!!!

Quinton's preschool class has a class mascot - Bananas. They went to Build-a-Bear for a field trip and everyone in the class helped to make him. Every day a different kid gets to be the "caboose," one of the special privileges of being the caboose is getting to take Bananas home for the night, along with a backpack full of clothes to dress him up!

Domenic before he was crawling. He could manage to stretch and scoot pretty well, though. With Quinton I wrote down the date every time he did something new. With Roman I started out writing everything down and then it kind of drifted off. With Domenic, I haven't written anything down. I always think I will remember so I can write it down later, and yet now, I can't remember when it was that he first crawled. I am going to go with around Thanksgiving time. Or it could be around Halloween. Nope, I think Halloween was when he got his first two teeth. Thanksgiving must be when he crawled. (See, I can't remember anything from just 2 months ago!)

When I was unpacking the Thanksgiving decorations, Quinton found the picture I had framed from last year's pumpkin patch. He really wanted me to take his picture while holding his photo from last year.

Quinton discovered that if he took one of the two gerber foods out of the box, he could build with them. One of his many creations.

Air Show

Well, the Blue Angels came to Marietta back in October. Anyone who knows Antonio knows that he LOVES anything aerospace, so he took Quinton and they met up with Mom and Dad. I am not sure my parents knew exactly what they were getting into when they agreed to go along with Antonio - when it comes to events like this, Antonio is serious about staying the whole time and hates to lose any time on things like waiting in line for food, etc... He is a man on a mission - see planes - and that is it! Well, now they know!!

In the cockpit!

He is wearing Mom's vest. Ironically, I guess it was a little chilly, and yet they came back really sun-burned.

Antonio and Quinton watching the show. Quinton is up at the fence so he could see.

Quinton and Grandpa. I am not sure what is going on here - I can't tell if Quinton is just squinting because of the sun, or if he is upset about something.

More pictures of the fun day!

Thanksgiving 2010

For those of you who have read previous posts, you know how much I love to play with paper. I had made a whole slew of coasters in matching boxes maybe 6 months ago (or more, I always lose track of time). The first time I made the caramallows recipe - from Better Homes and Gardens magazine - it made a ton, and I was quickly realizing that my efforts to lose weight were going to go down the tubes if I didn't get rid of them quickly. I also off-load a lot of treats to my neighbors across the street, but even after giving them a plate full of caramallows, there were too many left! Anyway, I am making this story really long, but I gave some to Roman's speech therapist, and I wanted them to look nice so I ran downstairs (this occurred to me, of course, about 10 minutes before we had to leave for therapy!) and dumped the coasters out of a box and put four caramallows in the box and tied it with string. It looked so beautiful, that an idea was born. I remembered last year in BH&G they had a spread on mini-pies. I really liked the idea, and when I thought about combining a fun box with a mini-pie, I loved the idea!!

Mom, my favorite accomplice, found pie pans on-line for a great deal and there you have it : personal pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving!

Pies cooling on the countertop.

Packaged up and ready to give away!

Thanksgiving dinner at mom's house was great as usual. Here is the turkey hot from the oven - beautiful!

I had really been craving something chocolate for weeks before Thanksgiving. Knowing this, Mom asked me to bring a chocolate dessert. Well, I had all of these ideas going on in my mind of new techniques I wanted to try and how could I get the max chocolatey-ness out of one dessert. Well, this is what I came up with. It was a four layer cake, filled with chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, chocolate buttercream, and a chocolate "collar" (that is the chocolate surrounding the sides of the cake). I topped it with pecan "acorns" as a garnish. I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed with the texture of the cake - it was much drier than I expected, I think I should have brushed each layer with a sugar syrup. I also think I may have overwhipped the chocolate mousse since it was stiff instead of creamy. All that said, it was intensely chocolate, which was what I wanted!!!

The dessert table.

Part 2: Christmas 2010

I'll tell you what, I am so behind on posts! My plan is to work backward, so here is part 2 of Christmas and then we are going back to Thanksgiving, then back from there until I am all caught up! Not that I have any requirements to post or anything, but what can I say? I have a lot of my dad in me!

A tradition that has carried on from my childhood is that the first Sunday of the month of December we make gingerbread houses at my mom's house. It has become a serious endeavor for her since growing up we just decorated one house. Now she makes a large house for her, large houses for my family and each of my two brothers' families, and little houses for each grandchild. For those of you doing the math, that is 4 large houses and 7 small houses.

Everyone hard at work!

Quinton working on his house.

My nephew Caleb and his dad, my brother Carter, working on his house.

Isaac's house in-process.

Carter Paul working on his house.

Domenic eying the candy table!

I had to take a close-up of Caleb's finished house - check it out!!!! Santa going down the chimney - and even his bag is full of toys. INCREDIBLE!!!!

Carter and Carter Paul helping me out with Domenic!! It is great to have so many people willing to hold him when we get together as a family. Despite Carter's pleadings, I didn't let him feed Domenic marshmallows! (not that I have anything against feeding my kids sugar - but I am against feeding them food they can choke on!!)

The final products and their proud designers!

The boys Christmas morning before we opened any presents. And, yes, Roman does look a bit of a mess!

Roman diving right in to play with his big Santa gift - a car garage.

Quinton's big Santa gift - a workbench. Since Grandpa and Grandma were in cahoots with Santa, their gift to Quinton was a box of wood and bolts, as well as a vice that had been kicking around at my parent's house for a while (when I say a while, I mean that the wood turned legs you see, are from the first year my parents were married!)

A table that Quinton made with his workbench. He and Roman had a tea party with his "Quinton bear."

One of the most miraculous things about this year's Christmas was that it actually snowed on Christmas day!!! (remember, this is Georgia!)

Adorable Roman. Hard to believe that last year's pictures of snow were with Quinton in this jacket! Little Roman is really growing up.

Quinton and a neighbor friend. Patrick is 3 years older than Quinton, but they still play together pretty frequently. The problem with Quinton being so big for his age is that people (and kids) think he is older than he is, but he definitely doesn't act any older than 5, which can sometimes create problems when he and Patrick play.

I love to have everyone over on Christmas Eve - usually after dinner we sing carols while I accompany on piano. This year my parents surprised us with musical pipes they made for each of us. We played several carols with the pipes - each person being in charge of one "number." Quinton loved it so much, I helped him set them all up on the broom handle so that he could play songs by himself. After he practiced, he put on a "show" for us and demanded that we sing along!