Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's to 2009. I sincerely hope it is a good one, that is filled with happy days and peaceful nights. I hope for many things but I will not bore you with those. Instead, I will bore you with my resolutions. I decided to make a lot so maybe some will stick!!

1. Blog on a more consistent basis - That would be nice!
2. Do not purchase anything for 6 months. Obviously this does not include essentials like food but simply the extraneous things that i allow to clutter my life
3. Organise my house and throw the excess away.
4. Learn to let go of things that are just taking up space
5. Take Owen for soccer lessons
6. Take Alex roller skating once a week
7. Take Alex and Owen for swimming lessons
8. Make sure they get to the park at least twice a week
9. Eat dinner at the table every night - we fell out of this habit and it needs to be reintroduced
10. Go to see grandparents in Wisconsin

I also want to make sure I try a new recipe for dinner at least once a week.

So Happy New Year to everyone. I hope it is all that you wish.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today was one of those milestone birthdays that puts pressure on a person to feel something that they are not even sure they know how to feel. I felt as though I should feel different or contemplative or have some revelation. Instead I felt the same thing I feel every morning - is there coffee made and where is it? After coffee was successfully placed into my personage, I made my way down to Gig Harbor sans children - now that was a gift! I got to browse through my favorite Borders bookstore and found some of the beautiful British magazines I covet so dearly! There was no going to the kids section and hearing how much they needed yet another Thomas/Cars/Bearnstein Bears book. It was a wonderful break and went a long way to restoring sanity. I made my way back to Silverdale and purchased myself a little fresh fruit tart and some other delights for the family! Then back home for lunch and reality!

Alexandra is feeling way under the weather and there is nothing as pitiful as a sick child. Add autism and an unwillingness to take medicine or receive anything in the way of comfort, and it makes for a long afternoon/evening. I did get a little afternoon reprieve too which was wonderful. I went to Michaels and purchased a few Martha Stewart Christmas things and then to Costco for more basic household items. Again, it was just me and my ipod and it was only playing Kathryn songs! Not a Laurie Berkner to be found!! No offense Laurie!

Back home for a pork feast and then it was all about Alexandra and trying to get her to take comfort! I just got a little visit from my friend Jenna who was brandishing a birthday bag filled with coffee beans and a wonderful travel cup - yeah, she really knows how to make me happy! Now I wind down this day with a feeling that it was not celebrated with the dramatic act called for, yet feeling that it was a pretty good day after all. I wonder what the next year and decade will bring and hope it is just a happy, joy filled time that makes my heart happy and my soul full. Here's to all that is good and pure and real.

And now onto Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Addition!

Our family has grown!!! We now have a little kitten to add to our little unit! A quick summary. Maddux and Alex - not too happy about it. Daddy and Owen - absolutely beside themselves happy about it. And I am feeling okay about it. In spite of myself, I find myself enjoying the little silly thing. So Ladies and Gentlemen, I give unto you, Jackie Brown!




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Friday, November 7, 2008

Alexandra is a rock star!!

She does like her accessories!!! Or rather, my accessories! She was leaving for therapy on Thursday afternoon and it was pouring down rain. Apparently that meant wearing sunglasses for little Alexandra! SHe has really taken to accessories of late - gloves, hats, scarves! It is kinda nice!

She does like her accessories!!! Or rather, my accesories!

a dozen years and counting!

Happy Anniversary to us! We were married 12 years ago today (Nov 6th) or tomorrow (Nov 7th) depending on who you want to believe. Actually we were married at about 1am on the 7th but the certificate states the 6th. So we cut our losses and celebrate on both days! There are no photos or witnesses to this event that we know of. A French television crew were shooting a documentary about Vegas weddings so perhaps there are a few French people who may have proof of this event. We, on the other hand, have zero images and that was kind of what we were going for. It was a wedding that cost a total of about $150 and we both wore jeans and shirts. No frills, just us saying our vows. We went to Arbys for a burger after the ceremony and then to a casino for a little poker action.

Here is the Candlelight Chapel where the great event took place

We arrived in Vegas after driving cross country from Virginia. We were down to our last few dollars but wanted to do this - I think we both knew that in terms of timing, it was now or never. I had a return ticket to Italy waiting in case we decided against it. When we got to Vegas, we had no idea that staying in a large theme hotel like Treasure Island would probably have been cheaper so we opted for a little crappy piece of shit motel which was directly across from said Treasure Island. Lets just say it was not luxury!! Here then, the lovely Tam O'Shanter motel

As I said, not luxury. In fact, I am not sure calling it the Bates Motel would have made it any less icky. But there we stayed for 3 days. We got to watch the Treasure Island Pirate show about 4 gagillion times and I gotta tell you, it is not that great! The highlight for Eric was the magic fingers 25c bed which made me seasick. The highlight for me was using the swimming pool which registered a temperature of about minus 38 - it was like diving into ice. I took comfort in knowing that nothing from that lovely room could survive that temperature so I made myself get into it daily!!!

After Vegas, we drove to San Diego and started our married life together. 12 years, 2 kids, a dog and many miles and relocations we are still together and thriving. He really is my lobster!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Is tomorrow a school day? Oh thank Heavens!

Trying would be the best way to describe this fine Sunday! Phew, I am tired! Alexandra was at her best today - and by best, of course I mean worst. She seems to be missing her daddy today and what better way to show it, than to make sure Mummy suffers! I am talking destruction and attitude and a whole lot of back talk. I could take no more and sent her to bed at 8pm which is a full hour earlier than normal. It was just safer for all concerned. She bitched and moaned and cried her entire way to the bedroom and then bitched some more once she got there! Now they both sleep and I am enjoying that moment of peace while I can.

A new week awaits and hopefully it will be a week filled with happy!

Halloween Photos

A sampling of our day!

A sampling of our day!

Friday, October 31, 2008

of death and chocolate

In the words of Arkwright, it's been a funny old week! Much ado about something. Today was Halloween and the children are finally sleeping after crashing from their sugar induced freak outs! Phew, that was a lot of sweet stuff! It was a pleasant day but not as pleasant as had been originally planned. The week started off with bad news about Eric's Aunt Nora. She had a massive heart attack this past weekend and passed away on Monday. She was lucky in that she died surrounded by all those who love her. Eric flew out on Tuesday to be with the family and has been there since. His dad needs him around and that is where he needs to be and where he should be. The funeral was yesterday and now the healing can begin. Eric should be home on Tuesday. We all miss him but we needed to let the state of Virginia borrow him for a week.

So that was the somber news of the week. The rest was taken up with Halloween, Halloween and more Halloween. I think I may just be ready to move on! We did manage to have lots of fun though in spite of Eric not being here. Owen had his party at preschool this morning and came home laden down with all kinds of goody bags. Then we were off to Alexandras class and her party. This was slightly different in that I was in charge of this shindig. I wanted to make sure it was fun for all and that the parents and teachers had as many treats as the kids. It is always a slightly different event when the group you are hosting are all autistic - you have to think of way more variables! I decided on caramel apples using the tried and true small lady apples and twigs as the handles - the teachers loved those! I made little cups of orange popcorn that I found at World Market and I made white chocolate ghosts for each child. I decided on Chocolate cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I dyed a lovely halloween orange! I combined a craft with the goody bag! I bought orange paper bags at Wal Mart and then used stick on letters to spell out each childs name. Then they got to decorate them using all kinds of stickers. I had four cauldrons full of all kinds of candy and the kids then had to go trick and treat so they could fill their bags from each cauldron. The bags were then tied with black licorice laces. It was a really fun day and I know Alex enjoyed herself. So now I sit in bed and sleep is making my eyes heavy.

Owen did not get to go trick or treating this year but he did not seem too worried. He did get to hand out lots of candy to the masses who came on by this evening and I think we managed to make a little dent in our mountain of candy. If anybody knows a good way to get rid of lots of chocolate (that does not involve my thighs) I would be delighted to hear it.

So to all those goblins and ghouls who I miss, I say Happy Halloween. So many souls that I miss this year - rest easy and be at peace.

Goodnight and I will post photos tomorrow!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Banoffee Pie (aka Fat Bastard Pie)

This is a pie in the loosest sense of the word. It is very easy to make but tastes divine. It is also incredibly healthy - not! I caution the intake of this on a too frequent basis. It is not a pie I crave often and it tends to get made about once a year. That being said, it is a yummy pie and the only reason I do not crave it more often is due to the fact that I know how bad for you it is!!!

So, without further ado, I give unto you Banoffee Pie

1 large can sweetened condensed milk
bananas - sliced
cream - whipped
1 pie shell - I use a graham cracker shell

Place can of milk into a pan of boiling water. The can must remain completely submerged in boiling water for three hours. I keep a kettle filled with water and just top off the pan as it needs it. After 3 hours of constant boiling, switch off the heat. After allowing the can to cool a little, carefully (and I mean carefully) open the can - voila, toffee! Spoon or pour into the pie shell and let cool completely in the fridge. Add sliced bananas all over the top of the toffee and then top with lots of whipped cream. You can shave chocolate over if you are feeling fancy but it does not need it. Allow to sit in the fridge for a while so it can set and the flavors can meld. After that, slice yourself a piece and undo the pants!!

Another weekend all done!

The children are asleep and it is time to wind down the weekend and get ready for the week! It should be a busy but fun week and I am looking forward to it! I have a lot of errands I need to do and lots of baking to get to but nothing seems too overwhelming right now - check back on Thursday! I have lots of things to make for various school parties as well as getting trick or treat stuff together. We live on a well trafficked trick or treat route and it costs a fortune to delight all the little imps that come a knockin!!

Sunday was a quiet day for me and the children. Eric went to the church of poker as he does most Sundays and we all just hung around and did not too much of anything. I made little banoffee pies which we devoured this evening.

Here's to a good week and a very happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday - then the Pumpkin Farm

After our adventures with trains, swings and nature trails, we took our full tummies to the Farm to pick some pumpkins and commune with nature! It was fun to watch Alex at ease with Llamas and sheep around her. She has come such a long way. Owen seemed to think he was running the show as he has visited the farm just a week ago with his preschool. They both had fun roaming amongst the pumpkins and sitting on the tractors! I particularly enjoyed all the different gourds they had. I found some beautiful white pumpkins and a few gourds that looked like pale green pears. MY favorite was a long crook necked gourd that just made me smile! So after all that fresh air, we came home and watched a little college football while Eric taught Owen and myself how to play 7 card stud! Fun! I love Fall and all its flavors - i think a pie is in order tomorrow. The smell of that baking will make me smile for sure!!!



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Saturday - First the Park and trains

Saturday was a fun family day. We had a lovely afternoon just the four of us doing things we know the kids love. We went to South Kitsap park first to ride on our little trains. The Kitsap Steamers is a club for train enthusiasts who essentially have taken model trains to the next level. You ride on scale models of real trains around a track through the park. It is just a cool way to spend an afternoon and the kids love it. Riding behind little locomotives through trees and over little bridges is big fun to little guys! Then we went and played on the swings and slides before taking a little nature walk along one of the trails. A nice way to spend a fall day. We took a pit stop for a little Chinese food before making our way to the pumpkin farm!




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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alex and her scissors!

Alexandra has decided that she really enjoys the art of haircutting! It started a few weeks ago when I noticed a curl upstairs in my bathroom. I panicked a little but I could not locate the area of her hair she had cut so I went on with my day. 2 weeks ago, I went into the garage and was confronted with just masses of curls all over the floor. I could not look and Eric had to go locate said daughter and assess the damage. She had taken about 10 inches off her right side. Oh how I cried. I was getting ready to give her a shoulder length bob but I tried to blend and for the most part it works. Luckily she has curls so it was easier to work with. She probably lost about 6 inches off the back and a lot more from the sides. The saga does not end there though - oh no. Apparently she cut a little off at school too and now her bangs do not fit into a ponytail! Yikes. So all scissors are locked away at home and I think her teacher has also learned a hard lesson.

These were taken yesterday while she was waiting for her bus.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disney Cars - help!

I believe that something underhand is going on at the Disney corporation. Something sinister and evil and just plain wrong. I have had to endure the movie Cars probably 752,466 times - at least!. Now as far as movies go, it is not too bad. There are moments that are actually pretty good. Owen loves this movie and could watch it on a loop if we let him. My objection is not the film at all. My objection is to the merchandising that goes along with it. I am not sure any other movie has merchandise that has stood the test of time like this one. The movie was released in June of 2006 and yet it still produces merchandise at a rate that I have never seen before. But even that is not my principal objection. Oh no! My main objection is to all the new car characters they seem to keep coming out with. Owen collects the little die cast cars of the characters and lately I have noticed some new ones that I have no recollection of ever having appeared in the movie. C'mon people. He sees a car that he does not own and it is irresistible to him but it does not have any connection to the bloody movie it is being merchandised with. Just put the CARS logo near it, give it the red packaging and of course, they are going to want it.

So I ask you Disney, no, I beg you Disney. Can you please either stop with the made up cast of cars that are making their way to my local every store or can you do the decent thing, and make a new movie. A sequel. I realize that Doc is not going to be an option as the wonderful Paul Newman is no longer with us, but Owen Wilson is still around and could use a good gig after some howlers of late. Drillbit Taylor anyone?! Bonnie Hunt is doing a terrible daytime show so Sally should be able to make an appearance and Larry the Cable guy or plumber of whatever he is, can surely pull himself away from the tit of Jeff Foxworthy long enough to put in an appearance as Mater.

Sp please, do the right thing. You have the characters, now make the darn movie. Thank you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday, Monday

Back to a normal Monday Schedule! Last week was Columbus day so there was no school, no OT and just a home visit speech therapy. Today, back to regularly scheduled Monday madness! Monday has become the fullest of the days in terms of scheduling but it kind of works out better that way - we can just glide leisurely towards the weekend after today. Alex was in a grumpy mood today and did not seem on top of her game. She did not want to get up but she seemed okay after she ate breakfast. She got on her bus with minimal fuss and went off to school. I then took Owen to his preschool and ran a few errands. Who knew you can spend almost $70 on socks?! I was stunned but we seem to go through socks like nobodies business in this house. After that, I picked up a sandwich and delivered it to Eric for his lunch. That was payoff for him getting off early to take Alex to therapy. I have been under the weather all weekend so he said he would take the therapy run today - bless him. I then picked up Owen, came home, did a little cleaning, made Owen lunch and then got Alex off the bus and put her into the car with a snack. Eric then took her to OT and Owen and I stayed home and built train tracks around the living room. Alex returned from therapy and then we had an hour of hanging around until Terra, her speech therapist, came for her home visit. It was not as productive a session as normal but Terra seems to be blessed with patience I can never comprehend. Dinner was a classic - turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy. Yummy and comforting on a gray overcast day. Now the dishes await my attention and then the bedtime rituals begin.

Not a dazzling or interesting day by any stretch, but an example of how the days turn around these parts. Sometimes, ritual is a good thing and there is so much comfort to be sought in the familiar.

This photo is of Villa Borghese in Rome - it is a place dear to my heart. I spent many happy summers wandering around this park as I was growing up. I then spent one very happy afternoon kissing Eric under a tree in that park - good times and I hope we can return soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Maddux

Today our dog reached a milestone age - he turned the big One Zero. We have not had him for 10 years - we meet that milestone in January, but he has been on this planet for 10 years now. He was considered the runt of the litter but as soon as we saw him, we knew there was no other hound who could compete. He entered our life at a PetCo in Concord California and we have been smitten ever since. He is a goofy, playful easy going dog who has always been a part of our family. He has always had only the best and has always been treated as a child. He has never had to endure any cruelty and has always had a warm bed, food to eat and love in abundance. I wish all dogs could boast of that. We love you Maddux and we thank you being a part of our lives for these 10 years. We were not the only ones doing the picking that day, I think you picked us too. I only hope you feel you picked as well as we believe we did.

Happy Birthday Maddux and remember we all love you always.


I created this blog with one specific goal - to document our little family. I know I will never get around to making beautiful scrapbooks - no matter how good my intentions. I know the photo albums will stay empty while my online photo management services groan under the uploads. I know my journal writing is sporadic at best. I know my memory is already having problems keeping things straight. So this will act as all of the above - my super duper easy peazy journalistic, albumerific, scrapbookalicious online testament to my family.

Ladies and gentlemen, the featured players.....

Eric aka husband

Alexandra - the daughter

Owen - the boy

Me - Kathryn aka mummy

and one big hairy dog - Maddux

Welcome to our world.