Thursday, December 31, 2009

new coat

january 7 is just around the corner...the day emma leaves for london.
she couldnt go without a new peacoat.
so off we went to south coast plaza...only the third mall
we have hit in like three days.
im usually not a big shopper,
however i have to say i have enjoyed these
recent frivolous trips with my girls (and hunter on one occasion).
and it was half price at macys...even better when its cheap.

maybe today we should drive to sherman oaks galleria,
or del amo mall...or maybe even santa monicas promenade.
now that sounds exciting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

taken for granted

i look at this santa all year round.
have him up non stop because he is a porcelain work of art.
i love the expressions on the animals faces as they are gazing up at him with adoring eyes,
kept close by his side and the intricate pattern on his plump coat.
if this santa could talk, he would be tender and kind, and would be
most grateful he gets a place front and center in my home.
he is an old fitz and floyd piece, a cookie jar in fact, which stands almost 2 feet tall.
they just dont make them like this anymore.
so i noticed him today for some reason,
and decided he needed to be recognized,
since it is his season, you know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

come together

so, to compliment my lazy day, i concluded it
cuddled on the couch watching a documentary of sorts
on showtime, about the beatles show in vegas, "love".
my favorite part was yoko ono reprimanding the producer of the show
saying (during the last dress rehearsal, like he can really change it now-
why didnt they get her input before the dress rehearsal?),
"come together is not a sleazy song! you have made it a sleazy song!
it is about coming together politically!"
all i can say is, i want to go to vegas now.

want to see this show.
hate vegas and everything about it, but i think i could force
myself to stay at the venician (in the newer wing),
eat at some nice restaurant and take in a show of "love".
who wants to go?

Monday, December 28, 2009

cookie time

the annual cookie bake is on. this year, we have a darling scottie cutter and black frosting. so un-christmas like, but we all ooo-ed and ahh-ed when the bright pink sprinkles were placed on the black frosting. such a shock of color. after all, christmas is over...time to move on to new years. maybe next year we can make them on time, and with red and green frosting.
just maybe.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

grandma love

when my mom and dad were visiting, emma and aenon
helped my mom get acquainted with her new macbook.
love the fact that the two girls have spent a lot of time with them while in utah.
they have a special relationship with them.
one they will cherish forever.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

big feet

best moment of the day...when eden was putting on the cool socks grandma got her,
and her big foot would not go in...then when she finally did wiggle them in,
she totally ripped them...made a big hole in the seam.
didnt know we had to buy xl socks for you, they even exist?
maybe in the mens department.
but then they wouldn't be so cute.
 my girl with man feet.

pretty perfect day.

Friday, December 25, 2009

happy christmas

i dont think i have ever taken a photo of the scene before the chaos erupts. this is it, in all its glory. this year, not so many presents though. have taken a step back and tried to keep everything in perspective. so, everyone got something they actually needed. no ridiculously overflowing stockings this year. no gifts encompassing the whole family room floor. however, the killer of the deal...much needed laptop delivery delayed,
so the big santa present is en route as we speak...
not very santa-like, if you ask me.

so, i decided to cook at 5am...
got pumpkin pies in the bottom oven, monkey bread in the top. next item to assemble-
chili relleno casserole, all this and its still dark outside.
and i am anxiously waiting to hear footsteps from upstairs.
still love that sound.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

no rest for the weary

most often than not, i am able to post every day, no problem.
except for today.
probably because my dad is here.
he is a doer. and an old doer at 85. stops for nothing.
was asking me about things i needed done around the house,
and before i knew it, my trash drawer was being taken apart and fixed.
next were the under the cupboard lights in the kitchen.
all of these things accomplished,
and i even purchased a christmas tree for 10 bucks.
what a deal.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

hurty nose

aenon had surgery this morning. corrected a very deviated septum and then fixed some large space of air that wasnt supposed to be there. if you look at this cat scan, you can see it. its the large, oval black spot. feeling pretty good at this point. got really dizzy and lost all the color in her face a few times...when that happens you know she does not feel well...she looks as if shes about to die or for that matter dead. her face turns white-literally. brought her home, got her all tucked in my bed with dane and his favorite toy, watching deal or no deal, eating saltines and a vicodin.
what could be better.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

tiggywinkles fix

we have been visiting the mission inn in riverside at christmastime for years now. complete with santa claus, amazing lights, horse drawn carriages, lots of animated elves placed all around and a new little booth in the middle of the esplanade with the best little hot donuts and hot chocolate. then to top it all off, my favorite store in the world, mrs tiggywinkles. a conglomeration of everything cute and unique you can think of, owned by a darling lady whom we know by name, and who wraps the presents in the back as if they were her own. so fun to walk in this store and have her immediately greet you and know who you are. this year, the kids chose names, so they had to scour the store in search of gifts for their siblings. they ended up with separate bags (stashed in the back by ceAnne, she had them all separated and kept track of the whole endeavor, then stuffed them with tissue and tied them up with tulle-im a sucker for a good wrapping job) each full of wonderful, unique goodies. all the while, the kids trying to be secretive about it, hiding things under their coats as they ventured to the counter to hand to ceAnne to put in the proper bag. she was our santa's helper of sorts this year.
a very fun tradition we will continue until she
goes out of business...which will be never.

and chris grant, if you are reading this post, this is what our store would look like.
i'd like to say ours would be better, but i think she's got it nailed.
next time youre in california we gotta go for sure.
 a major dose of fantastic eye candy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

easy to please

just bring out one of these blue boxes, and everyone's happy.
day started with french toast, church, then johnson family christmas party complete with white elephant.
and the girls have declared aunt jen as their favorite aunt.
and you should feel pretty special, jen.
and decided that joe and his wife are pretty cute.
and dane found a new best friend who's a girl, AND his cousin...imagine that.
and we were glad we made too much food.
and i realized this house does a party well, can handle 30 people no problem.
and i slept well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20 years ago today

emma was born on this day, twenty years ago. i cannot even believe those words are coming out of my mouth. the time has flown by, and i can see her toddling around in a diaper and walking to kindergarten like it was yesterday. the days when my kids were small were wonderful for me.

i was in labor with emma for a couple of days...dr lieberman (a darling young woman who just happened to be a physician) kept putting me off...saying just "wait it out at home". i was really anxious, but unfortunately the contractions were not close enough to justify going to the hospital. craig had a job at a law firm in woodland hills at the time, (we were soon to relocate to murrieta, and a job in riverside), we were living at my parents home in thousand oaks, and aenon was almost 2. when i did finally make it to the hospital, emma still took her sweet time. i was given all sorts of supposed "pain killers" (i think they just were just telling me that to make me be quiet) in my iv, but no epidural. not sure why i did not get one, but i made it through ok. eventually she was born in a birthing chair, sitting almost upright with an industrial bucket placed underneath me during the process, dr lieberman sitting calmly on one of those low rolling stools in front of me. i am sure emma is cringing at this description right about now, but thats the way it was, honey. never gave birth in another one, but apparently did the job well. she came with relative ease and not too much discomfort. she was little, and that helped.
an even 7 pounds of darling little baby girl.

there was a certain peacefulness in the hospital while i was there, because of the season i think. christmas carolers strolled up and down the halls, and when it was time to go home, they placed her in a bright red christmas stocking. i could not help thinking of a certain time when another mother gave birth to a special someone. the experience of giving birth at christmastime was magic for me.

when i took her home, she was such a calm, peaceful baby. she never cried, and slept literally all the time. i had to wake her to feed and change her. she slept those first few months in the little wooden crib which cradled her great-grandfather who was born in 1899. a family treasure for sure, which every single kid of mine has spent their first months in. she was a dream. in fact in those first few days, there were a couple of times i forgot she was even around, because she was so quiet. she continued to be an easy child too...a happy, capable toddler she quickly grew into, then a darling, mature preschooler, all the while having adult conversations with those around her. i spoke to her like she was an 18 year old when she was barely old enough to use the bathroom on her own. she was my helper from day one. she was born an old soul, and one day i will find out the story behind her. that will be an interesting tale, i am sure. all in all she was a perfect child in every way. i can honestly say i never had any trouble with her (well, sometimes being in the dark is a good thing)...
and i can still say that even now (i know a miracle in itself).

i could go on and on, and recount her life as i remember it. i could write pages and pages...however on this day, the words are simple. i am so grateful she came to me, so grateful to have her in my life and i love her with my heart, soul, and every fiber of my being. she has become a remarkable young woman who is talented, intelligent, righteous, caring and gifted in so many ways. i must have done something right to have had her placed in my care. so, thank you Heavenly Father for entrusting one of your precious souls to me. i cant thank you enough.

and to you emma...happy birthday.
i love you.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

surprise visit from a certain redhead

this girl walked through my front door yesterday.
wasnt supposed to be here till sunday via jetblue.
she arrived via mr landcruiser with emma instead.
love a redhead surprise.

so happy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"i swear he's real"

we have this silly tradition around christmas time...we have this little elf that moves around the house and shows up unannounced in odd places (i know, he is a little creepy). toby immediately found him this morning (you can see maggie is completely disinterested-has found some grout on the floor to lick obsessively-her favorite pastime), sure this was a miniature, living person just sitting there casually on the mirror in his little dorky elf hat. even was able to knock him down (the mirror is over 5 feet tall) and had him in his mouth at one point. needless to say, to save the mirror (and the creepy little red guy),
i had to move mr elf to a safer spot.
what a funny dog.
he even watches tv.
i swear he is half human.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

hard day

yesterday was just a bad day.

in trying to rescue my very favorite and picked on (by an aggressive gold breast male who relentlessly chases him) strawberry finch, he accidently escaped out of his cage. the one i was trying to save, was lost. i watched in horror as he flew into a nearby tree. he demise was sure. he could never find his way back, and never survive the cold and lack of food in my backyard. sort of felt like the time a set a rat trap for a pest who frequented my trash enclosure and found a blue bird had discovered the peanut butter instead. i have had him for over six years, watched his mate die of some weird disease which disfigured her face, then moved him into a larger aviary outside, where he was the inspiration to get more finch friends and even a cute new mate, who was the closest i could find to a strawberry. he was healthier than ever, strong and sure even in his old age. his nails curled the wrong way, he had a hard time gripping his perch sometimes, but he turned a vibrant shade of red with little white spots during mating season and he had the sweetest, unique song i would hear in the early morning. apparently too, it is impossible to buy another one, as they are not imported into the united states and
no one is breeding them for some reason, so he was indeed a rare bird.
 i waited outside in the evening yesterday listening for his call for over an hour. i could hear him in a far off tree for awhile, then his chirp was no longer. i was hoping for a miracle this morning, like the time his mate got out and then miraculously flew back into the house the next day, after surviving the night in a terrible rain storm. miracles do happen, and i am a firm believer in faith. however...

i think i give up.

so to my little strawberry finch,
wherever you are, please know you were my favorite.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

worth framing

dane's first official phone message.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

brain freeze

i wonder who coined the term "brain freeze"?

apparently this is what you do when you get one from drinking a protein shake too fast.
got a bunch of boys who like to frequent the coto gym now.
better get more shake ingredients on hand...cuz who likes the disgusting taste of it anyway.
gotta cover it up somehow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

delivery day

the stockings have reached their interim destination, a cute little house in santa ana, turned into an office of sorts bustling with cute young volunteers. one volunteer directed me to this conference room piled high (will be a nightmare to sort-they really needed a larger room) with all sorts of stockings and gift bags (i will have to say, ours were the cutest, but who may i ask is paying any attentions to that...uh, embarrassed to i asked specifics on where my (our) stockings will end up, and was told again that they will be handed out to the homeless after a hot meal is served to them on christmas day. she was also excited about the extra stuff we delivered too...i am positive it will all be put to good use. so, to all of my little christmas helpers, you can pat yourselves on the back and know you have done your good deed for the season. however, if i know you nice folks who helped me, i am sure this is just one of many generous endeavors you are involved in for those less fortunate and in need. 
such great examples to me, every single one of you. 
and you know who you are.

maybe next year we can make this hunter's eagle project...wanna do it again? 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

shopping with the big dogs

ventured to south coast plaza yesterday all by myself (just the way i like it, and after buying an impeccable room & board chair off craigslist for $85)...figured out this must be where the REAL oc wives shop, cuz i felt like a fish out of water. heavy hitters everywhere.
take me back to the rsm target please.
i fit in much better there.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

count down

counting the days till these 2 glorious human beings are in my presence.
6 days till i see the blonde.
8 days till i see the red head.
cant wait to have all chicks under one roof.

its a mom thing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

bright face

my day begins pretty uneventful. very routine. very repetitious.
i wake at 5am (dont even need an alarm clock anymore), make sure eden is up and
going for seminary, venture downstairs
after checking on dane to make sure he hasnt kicked the covers off,
feed the dogs, and find the remote to turn on the
news and listen for the weather, so i can relay
what to wear for the day. i check my email, empty the
dishwasher, make lunches, straighten up the couch,
sometimes put in a load of laundry and enjoy the
quiet and darkness of the morning. my favorite time of day.
at 7am, good morning america comes on.
when hunter was in middle school, he started later, so he
was able to relax in front of the tv for awhile
before it was time to go to school. i know, he should have
been doing something productive, but that was his down time.
when i asked him once what his favorite tv show was, he said, "good morning america".
dane too, if he wakes early will plunk himself down
watching intently...i have often asked if he wants
spongebob or something else, he likes the "news".
i have weird kids, i know. they like the news.
i have watched gma for so long, i was there when charlie gibson
left and now diane sawyer is leaving to take an anchor
job delivering the news in the evening. i think if i could grow
up to be as graceful and diplomatic as her, i would be very happy.
so, i will miss seeing her bright smiley face every morning,
and actually was teary eyed as they were talking
about this being her last show this morning. so if you see me today,
and i am a little down, now you know why.
boy, i need to get a life, for sure.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

shells everywhere

my kids love edamame. so good for you too.
apparently if you eat enough of it (and pistachios)
you can keep cancer at bay.
dane can go through a colander full of it in no time.
the nice lady
(who we know well) who owns niko niko
sushi told me how to cook them properly.

place frozen edamame (i buy it at costco)
in pan full of water. as soon as it comes to a boil,
take of heat and drain.
sprinkle generously with kosher sea salt
(the sea salt is key-makes all the difference in the world).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

favorite cookie maker

so when mitzi (craig's assistant and right hand woman, loyal confidant, keeper of the office, etc etc-could not live, let alone function without her) heard we were doing out little stocking project she immediately called and said she wanted to help. i knew she would produce something amazing. and that she did. her famous molasses cookies...all wrapped up in cute little christmas bags. i am positive when these homeless folks taste these, they will think they died and went to heaven. maybe mitzi will even provide the recipe (pretty please?), so i can make them (and all you fellow blog readers too), although just wont taste the same. see, mitzi and her husband used to own a restaurant (a mom and pop place-down home, amazing comfort food), so they really know how to cook. thank you mitzi for supplying the wonderful homemade goods, all wrapped up cute.  you are a doll...and i couldnt live without you either, in case you were wondering. no pressure to stick around managing that crazy office
and keeping that guy on track, you know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

so grateful for good friends

well, my little brainstorm of a humanitarian project came to fruition last night, only because of the help and cooperation of my generous and caring friends. the night went without a hitch. went just as i had envisioned and hoped. there was a magic buzz of christmas spirit in this house. a warmth that only comes from good works and good people (and good food). the kids were anxious to help, and got involved in an assembly line (thank you vivian for being the ring leader), and we put 50 stockings together in no time. with everyones generous contributions, those little santa hats turned stockings, were transformed into tidy bundles of love. we even had an ornament making station where claudine supervised a little santas workshop of sorts, complete with glitter stars and sparkly snowflakes. we will attach these little snowy adornments, add some toothpaste april realized she had under her sink and mitzis homemade molasses cookies, and there ya go, a perfect little something to
brighten someone's lonely christmas.

just glad aprils mcdonalds gift certificates showed up. when she went to purchase 50 gift cards, her credit card was denied (i can just see her face when they gave her the news)...because who in their right mind spends a couple hundred dollars at mcdonalds?? fraud for sure!
good thing april, you had other means of payment!

so a big thank you to all of my good friends who made my little project fun and worthwhile. i so appreciate your generosity and willingness to help me pull off this little hairbrain idea of mine.
 for this i am grateful and in awe of the goodness of those who i associate with.
i could not have done it without you.
and april, so sorry you are always the first person i call for help.
one day, you will start screening my calls. ;-)

thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, December 7, 2009

st nick crush

so this is what my slaves and i do in our spare time. unpack millions of little red guys.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

dr suess would be proud

so we pulled out the ginormous artificial tree (nicknamed the "dr suess" tree) which has been up maybe 3 times over the last 9 years. this is mainly because it is a royal pain to put together. however, this year i had a few slaves helping me and eden's organizational skills, so it was WAY easier and WAY more fun. usually, i am putting up the decorations all by myself, cursing to myself the whole time. i admit, i have been known to be scrooge-like. this year was different. i had happy helpers outside putting lights up around the garages, and i had happy helpers inside with this monster of a tree, and the multiple (and i mean multiple) santas which are displayed in the kitchen. what a difference a few extra hands makes (is this why mormons have lots of children?). and we had fun working together. however, i still have a mess on my hands, and cannot find one crucial box of ornaments.
so, hopefully they will continue their slave labor today.
i may have to pay them in food.
i know banana bread works for one of them.
i better preheat the oven.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

little surprise

sometimes i surprise myself.
like when i go out to the very unorganized garage (i know, drives me crazy, but i just dont know how to tame it all) and find exactly what i am looking for. like the christmas lights for around the garages...all bundled up and ready to go.
even the timer was attached to this neat little bundle of lights all wrapped in red tulle.

now, i just have to find all the other stuff...

Friday, December 4, 2009

fresh indulgence

so amongst all the franticness of this supposedly peaceful season, i decided to indulge myself. a new favorite fragrance. i am picky about my fragrance selection. many give me a headache, some make me nauseous. actually, this whole line  (click to see) i love...a little calm in my storm.
makes me feel all better.