Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We're getting "old"

Mike's 30th birthday was last weekend. He was freaking out about it for weeks leading up to it. Since it was such a big deal for him, I didn't do any of the "traditional" 30th birthday hoopla and we just had a pretty quiet day with Bridget.

This was Mike's cake.  He's not a fan of cake in general but LOVES these cheese filled coffee cake things.  So, happy birthday morning to Mike! (As an aside, Bridget has since been asking for cake every morning for breakfast.  She thought it was the best thing ever!)

These were Daddy's gifts.  Bridget colored packing paper with her markers.  I think it makes for pretty festive wrapping.

Later in the weekend, two of our very good friends J & S had us over for a celebration dinner.  They surprised us all with decorations and gifts.  Such sweet and giving people. Bridget was in heaven with all the balloons.

S is an amazing cook. We had red wine and gorgonzola filet with mashed potatoes and broccoli. For dessert...
 

...the most amazing cheesecake I've ever eaten.  Seriously.  It was Neapolitan, people. Layers of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla deliciousness all topped with fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce!  The night ended with laughing and visiting around the fire pit before we headed home.  Such a great night and Mike has transitioned to a "grown-up" pretty well.  I'm only six months behind...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have you heard of Dr. Jean?

I had not heard of Dr. Jean Feldman until a few weeks ago. A friend who is a Pre-K/Special K teacher sent me a message and asked if I would be going to the DR. Jean concert at the library.  My answer: Who?  So I was sent to Dr. Jean's site* and found out that although I didn't know of her specifically, I definitely knew her work.  I have used her cheers in my classroom for years and the kids always LOVED it. (seriously, check out her site and you'll find some great ones)

Anyway, since Bridget and I didn't have any plans, we went off across town to see Dr. Jean.  And I'm soooooooo glad we did.  Bridget had an absolute blast and I cracked up watching how much fun the entire audience had. My favorite part was the Tooty Ta**.  Please, please PLEASE look this up if you don't know it.  It's totally worth it.  I don't think you can truly realize how absolutely hilarious it can be to watch 150+ kids spinning in circles with their thumbs up, elbows back, knees together, bottoms up, tongue out, and eyes closed singing the song.  I'm still laughing just thinking about it.  Bridget's favorite was the Alligator Chant which I can't really seem to find a good video of.  The girl is completely enthralled by alligators (but that's a whole different post).

I'm so glad that we live in a city where our library district is able to offer these shows to us.  Especially when they can offer them for free.  I'm so fortunate that I have been able to take this bit of unexpected time off with Bridget to do these things. Although life is far from perfect, days like this make it a bit brighter.

Bridget and Dr. Jean.  Really, Bridget was happy.  But she was also tired.
*If you go to her site right now, pictures from her visit to Vegas on on the front page.  Bridget and I are front row, center section.  Can you spot us?

**I have no idea how long this song has been around.  The first time I heard/participated in this song was High School Key Club.  Seriously, it was run by our crazy (but hilarious) chemistry teacher and she had a whole group of high school kids doing this utterly childish dance and cracking the heck up.  Ah, high school.  How fond a few of my memories are of you...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fooooood!

Today, I'm going to share with you something that has been a great addition to my life lately. About 6 months ago, we started using a co-op for our fruits and veggies. I really wanted to start eating healthier AND try new things (anyone else feeling this way?). I was spending so much every week on produce that I was getting frustrated (anyone else feeling THIS way?).

Then, a friend told me about Bountiful Baskets. They are AWESOME! Unlike other co-ops I've heard about, with Bountiful Baskets you pay each week.  It's only $15 and I get a large basket of various fruits and another of veggies. They offer an organic basket for $25 every other week, but we've never tried it.

Anyway, here's what it looks like every Saturday when we go to get our yummy produce.

You check in and they send you off to your baskets. It's so exciting. It's almost like Christmas wondering what you're going to get that week. 

 Bridget likes to run ahead and look in other people's baskets.  We keep telling her it's all the same, but she LOVES looking at everything.  She also LOVES to help us move everything from our baskets to our box to take home.

Here's a pic of the baskets we got a few months ago. This is pretty typical of the variety we get.

Veggie basket. Lettuce, acorn squash, celery, corn on the cob, brussels sprouts, and I'm pretty sure there were sweet potatoes, and a butternut squash under there, too. I owe this basket for my new found love of brussels sprouts. Wash 'em, cut 'em in half, and roast them in the oven with olive oil and S&P.  Yum!

And our fruit basket.  Grapes, apples, pears, bananas, and persimmons.  There were oranges under there as well.  Many times there's a pineapple in there, too. This is the week I learned that persimmons are not to the liking of anyone in my family. Whenever we get them now, Mike trades them with a lady at his work for more bananas or apples.

Anyway, I thought I'd share in case some of you have been looking for something similar.  Bountiful Baskets are available over here in quite a few states out west.

Do any of you have ways that you get healthy, new foods into your family?  Any other great tips of tricks?

Oh, and FYI, this was not paid for in any way.  I just really like this things and figured some of you might want to know about it as well.  Yaaaay!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A PSA from me to you.

Ok, this is serious folks. A friend posted this video on Facebook and I thought it was important enough to share with you guys. Please keep you and yours safe. (You'll need to pause the music on the blog).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Where do you get your news?"

A friend asked this of me awhile ago.  My first thought was, "I don't."  Then, after thinking about it for bit, the truthful answer is... Facebook and my iPhone.  Although I know I can't make up for that statement, please allow me to explain.

Here's the thing.  The news is depressing.  I have quite enough drama and depression going on in my own little life, thank-you-very-much, to deal with more that I can't do anything about.  If I watch the news, I feel that I need to have some emotion for every story and I just don't have that emotional wealth to share.  Much less do I have any ACTUAL wealth to share.  As much as I would LOVE to contribute funds to the myriad of natural disaster relief funds, I just don't have anything to spare.  
So, I choose not to watch any news at all.  I don't watch CNN, MSNBC, my local evening news, FOX news (*shudder*), or whatever else is out there.

Instead, I watch Facebook.  I have several friends who are news buffs and post about the important goings-on in the world.  I figure if several of them post about the same thing in one day, I should probably familiarize myself with it. Some days I learn about pop culture and others I learn real headline news, such as the Union issues in Wisconsin, the rebellion in Egypt, or the earthquake in New Zealand.  And then there are days when I get a bit of both.  I think those are my favorite.  Take this NY Times article about how pizzas are being delivered to the Wisconsin protesters from all over the world. Kinda gives you the warm fuzzies, right?

If I do decide that I MUST have a dose of actual news to feel connected to the world, I have the NPR app on my phone.  I think it's brilliant.  I love NPR and find then to be the least biased source of news for me. With the app, I can scan the headlines and choose what I think is important to know.  I can also bypass the things that are just too much to handle at any particular time.  PLUS, I can fit in my news while standing in line or watching a show with Bridget.

So there you have it.  I'm a horrible person who can't stand to hear about the fifth murder in a row or the ten car pileup that left several people seriously injured. I don't want to know over and over and over again that there is still fighting in the middle east.  I love and respect our soldiers but I know it's terrible wherever they are and I don't want to know the details.  Sorry.

What about you?  Where do you get your news?  Please tell me I'm not the only one out there that doesn't keep CNN on all day.