This Kid: Not Yet…PLEEEEAAASSSSEE!!!!

Yesterday I gave B a kiss when leaving him at school. He looked around & wiped it off, giving me a very embarrassed “Mommy!”

UGGGGGHHHH!!! I was not ready for this day to come so soon! My little boy that begs for kisses, laps them up with smiles & giggles when I wake him with millions each morning. I guess we’re in the in between period, where private kisses are welcome, but public ones are not.

I asked him about the incident after school and he said it was embarrassing. I decided to leave it for the moment, as he is strong willed & prone to digging in. Not sure where he get that from. Must be his dad.

Ever thoughtful & concerned about the feelings of others, he brought it up again this morning. He told me kisses at home are great, at school….notsomuch. But he threw me a bone & said that I can give him hugs at school. Ever the compromiser.

Alas, today he ran into the classroom with out so much as a glance over his shoulder….or a damn hug!!!

This kid.

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Summer Tomatoes: A Love Story

Possibly one of my favorite things about summertime is tomatoes. Over the last few years I have tried to stick to local & organic for most of our produce. This also means mostly seasonal eating. Now, I’m not perfect. I do by a few here & there through the colder months, but they always disappoint. And every time I realize the benefit of waiting. The reward is SOOOOOOOOO worth it.

I buy them mostly at the farmers market and sometimes at Trader Joe’s. But for some reason nothing comes close to the ones picked yourself, straight from the vine. Unfortunately we live in an apartment, without even the benefit of a balcony to try our hands at urban gardening.
Thank God for my Dad & The Compound. That’s my affectionate term forthe large property that was my grandparents & is now where my Dad & his lovely wife reside. They have the most amazing garden & HUGE amounts of tomato plants.
When I was there this week I took the liberty of shopping. Unfortunately I was too enamored by the peppers, chilis, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, etc, to think about taking pictures.
The first thing I did when I got these babies home was make a tomato sandwich. My ultimate taste of summer.
Here’s what I did.
Lightly toasted wheat bread. Thin layer of mayo. Thick slices of tomato (thing of beauty!). Kosher sea salt. Fresh ground pepper.
Cheese (gouda & swiss because that’s what I had). Arugula drizzled with olive oil & a little more s&p.
DELICIOUSNESS!!!!
So here’s the deal. You can leave the cheese off, change the bread, toast or not toast, lettuce instead of arugula, whatever you want.
There is only one rule that I must insist on. You HAVE to use the tomatoes room temp. I know, I know. They go bad too quick out of the fridge. Since I have so many from The Compound I have mine in the fridge too. But you need to take one out in the morning to get it to room temp before using it. The taste doesn’t even compare. The cold dulls the flavor. Promise me you’ll do this? thanks. you rock.
I got a bunch of other stuff too. I’m hoping to make Pico with some of these beauties & the jalapenos I picked up. And some Refrigerator Pickles with the mutant cukes (stay tuned).

This Kid: Cleaning vs. Locking

We have a busy week with family in town & babysitting some friends, so I might not post a whole lot, but thought I’d stop by real quick to share a funny happening around here.

B had a friend over on Sat night & they destroyed his room. On Sunday he & Daddy went to the Padres game with family & then invited them over after. I told B that he should probably pick up his room a bit so his cousins didn’t think he was a piggy.

A few minutes later he came out & said that he just locked his door so they wouldn’t see it. um. yeah. So here we were with kids about to come over, with all kid related fun stuff locked behind a door we don’t have a key for. A genius this one is. geesh!

The poor maintenance guy on call had to come over & open the door for us. We laughed that we are his favorite apartment. I swear these guys are here all the time. I got one to admit one day that they are here more than any other unit. He kindly said that we “really live” in our unit. Unlike our neighbors, who what? Pretend live in their units?

This kid.

This Kid: Lessons Learned

I love my friend Kurina. She is pretty. She is funny. And she drops some mad F-bombs.

Another thing I love about her is that she lives an hour away. Now, don’t get me wrong. I would L-O-V-E, LOVE if she was right here near me. Like in my building. On my floor. Then we could hang out all the time & I wouldn’t have to get out of my PJs. Oh. Wait. I’ve driven there in my PJs before. Oh well.

Anyway, my point is that when I make the trek up there I always take the time to do one of 2 productive things. I either listen to an audio book that has been sitting on my iphone way too long, or I make phone calls. If I owe you a phone call (mom), or we have something important to talk about (like plan a camping trip), I will definitely be calling you on my way to K’s.
During my latest trip this week I decided that it was a great time to plan food for our upcoming camping trip with my other lovely lady friend Amy. We were chatting about food and I asked her about what the kids would eat. I commented on Brayden, “I can never count on Brayden.” Meaning, sometimes he’ll scarf down a plate of sushi, other times he swears only mac & cheese or pineapple pizza will do.
When I got off the phone it was silent for a few minutes & then all of the sudden I hear B say, “Mommy, it really hurt my feelings when you said you couldn’t count on me.”
STAB ME IN THE HEART!
I explained to B the context of the conversation & all was right with the world.

I’m happy that this happened. It was a great opportunity to thank B for speaking his mind. I told him that even though he heard me wrong this time, I want him to always feel that he is able to ask me anything, and that if I do something that hurts him or makes him sad he should always tell me. He should tell everyone when they hurt him.

Also, this was a great lesson for me. His little ears pick up on everything. Even when I assume he’s not listening. He is taking it in. And what I say affects him.

It’s amazing that for everything I teach him, he teaches me even more. I love this kid of mine.

Popcorn Treats

If you don’t like Rice Krispie Treats, then you should just stop reading this blog now. Because clearly we’re not friends. Because I am not friends with crazy people. Ok, I am….most of my friends are nut jobs. But not THAT nuts.

To continue the theme of Pinterest, here is a recipe that I found. I originally planned to make it over the 4th of July weekend. I thought it fit the wacky dessert theme that was started with the Snicker Salad. Yeah, that was a big winNAR as well. Seriously. It sounds ca-RAY-ZEY. But it rocked my socks. And dontchya know, a certain preggo lady loved it too. Oh, and the 5 year old. shocker. It actually tastes like a light summery dish. Which clearly it IS NOT.

So here’s the original post. But I changed it up a bit. First of all, I halved it, because the kid & the hubby ate half of the m&ms and some of the marshmallows, before I had a chance to make it. Speaking of m&ms, I switched to peanut ones. Cause I’m crazy. I doubled the butter. Why not? Actually it’s because I made that mistake years ago when making Rice Krispies & I have never gone back. I formed them more like Krispies too, and not like the original recipe. And lastly, I changed the way I cooked the butter too. I let it brown just a tiny bit. It adds a toasty flavor, like a roasted marshmallow to the end. It comes out a bit more “cream” colored than the “bright white” that it would normally be. It is not crucial that you do this, but it is crucial that you don’t overdo it, otherwise it will taste burnt.
With out further ado, here is my version.
Popcorn Treats
Ingredients:
1 bag of microwave popcorn (I used butter lovers)
1 cup of pretzel sticks, broken up, but not crushed
1 cup of peanut m&ms
1 stick of butter
8 oz of mini marshmallows (4 cups)
cooking spray for pan
Pop your popcorn & separate the popped kernels from the unpopped kernals (say that 10 times fast). I found that the easiest way to do this is to pour it into one bowl, shake the bowl & then grab handfuls to transfer to another bowl. The shaking helps get the unpopped kernels to the bottom.
Prepare your pan by spraying the bottom & sides with cooking spray (or coat with butter). I used a 9×9 glass pan.

Combine popcorn, pretzels and m&ms in a bowl. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter on med-high eat. Once it’s melted, you can continue to cook until it gets slightly browned, but watch carefully because it can burn quickly. You can also skip the browning step & just add the marshmallows.

Once marshmallows are in, turn the heat down to med-low & stir constantly until fully melted & butter is completely combined. This works best if you use a heat resistant spatula.
Pour over popcorn mixture & quickly stir to combine.
Once the popcorn is fully coated, pour into the prepared pan. You can use your spatula or spoon to press the mixture down, compacting as much as possible. I also like to spray my hands with cooking spray & use my hands to press down. I do this with Rice Krispies as well. Cover with a top or foil & cool.
You’re supposed to wait an hour. I think we lasted 20 mins.

Well worth the wait. Yum.

The Pinterest

Oh Pinterest, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. As of today I have 1304 pins. So, yeah. I lurve ya a lot.

Clearly if I am going to continue to spend time on this I need to make sure I am getting something out of it. Other than just inspiration for a shit ton (that’s metric) of projects I’ll never do.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done several things that I’ve found on there, but mostly food. And I’ve never been a slacker when it comes to finding & using recipes online. I likes to cook. I’m thinking there might be a connection to my weight. hmmmm, something to explore. later.
So, as I was saying. Yeah foods. I do that. If you want to see some of the stuff that has made it onto my “Proved it’s Merit” list, check it out here. I’ll definitely post food stuff. That goes with out saying. Yet I just said it anyway. Bygones.
So, the point to this rambling post is to announce my own personal Pinterest Challenge. I’d like to accomplish one pinterest project a week. I can’t promise that I won’t start pinning ridiculously easy to finish projects just to meet my goal. babysteps.
For starters, here are a few things I’ve already completed.
Is anyone else doing Pinterest? Interested in plugging away with me? Have anything you’ve done that you found there? Loved it? Hated it? Please share.

This Kid: How Big is My Love?

For me, one very important reason for this blog is to record & remember the little everyday things that bring me joy in parenting this kid of mine. Man, is he funny. But also, very sweet. You’ll see both here.

In order to make it practical, and to ensure that these things get posted, I will make these simple, quick & straightforward. Sometimes a picture. Sometimes not. Because really, the most important thing is just that it get’s done.

Brayden loves to explain his love for me by comparing it to things that CLEARLY he adores. ie, more than candy, more than cars, more than tv, etc. This is important stuff to a 5 year old.

Today he loves me “More than a STACK of T-Rex’s”. I have no idea how many are in a stack, but I’ll take it.

This kid. Wonderful.

And you think your girl has hair issues.

My kid’s hair is a constant battle. It has always been his “thing”. The first thing the nurse said when she came to check on him in the recovery room was, “I have been a maternity nurse for 20 years & have never seen a baby with hair that color”. It was almost the color of a golden lab. Not really blond, not really brown, not really red.

Pimp Daddy
As the years have passed it’s become more blond & he has OPINIONS about it. He & his daddy. They both like it long. To be fair the kid has a melon of a head & the longish hair helps camouflage the orange-on-a-toothpick situation. (name that movie)
The problem is that it is a pain to keep brushed. It gets scraggley (is so a word). And he doesn’t like to brush it. I keep threatening to shave it, ala his Uncle Donny, and that usually shuts him up. But still, it’s just not always cute.
But when he has been in the water, the pool or the ocean, it dries so nice. Like a scruffy little surfer. Because driving to the beach everyday is impractical, and bathing in the pool is just weird, I needed something else. Plus, I don’t even want to think of the funk that is the reason those things make his hair cute.
Bumble & Bumble makes a Surf Spray that is supposed to replicate the look, but it’s $20. And for a 5 year old? That’s just nuts.
I found this recipe on Pinterest & I thought I’d give it a try. It’s cheap, yo. I haven’t done the calculations, but she says it’s like 20 cents a bottle. sold.
It gives hair some texture, adds thickness & adds hold while still moving. I love it! As mentioned in the linked recipe, it has a matte finish, so if you have a thing about shiny hair, this is not for you. You can spray it on when your hair is wet or dry, dry it with a hair dryer or let it air dry, use your fingers or a comb, and leave it “clumpy” or brush it out. It really works with what works for you.
Here’s the dude:

Bonus: It looks good on me too! #winning

Obsessed

I tend to get obsessed with “stuff”. Blogs (other peoples, obviously not my own), Pinterest, facebook, kitchen tools.
My latest obsession is the Bodum Bean Ice Coffee Press. I lurves it. It is perfect for warm summer days. But it also makes the BEST coffee around that can be heated when the mood strikes. It’s perfect for people that have a problem with the acidity of coffee. Apparently, cold brewing is the most gental, pure way to make coffee. And I am a believer!
Today I made Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I was inspired by this post. You don’t read PW?!! You’re missing out!
Anyways. I didn’t follow her directions for brewing, but you certainly can. I just brewed using my Bodum and used her instructions for the mixing.
Actually, a true Vietnamese coffee just uses Sweetened Condensed Milk (SCM). Nectar of the God’s, I tell you. But P-dub (as I call her….you know, we’re tight like that), mixed half & half with the SCM. More fat? sold.
You need to stir it well to get the SCM in there real good. I used a jar (formally for holding pasta sauce). Side note: Jars, another obsession. I have a truckload of them. I use them for EVERYTHING. Food Storage, craft storage, toy storage, flower vases….you get the idea.
Fill your jar with ice.

Add Coffee.

Add half & half. (this is real scientific. just use your own tastes as a guide & leave some room at the top of the jar for adjustment)
Don’t cry over spilled milk (or half & half, as it were). It’s hard taking a picture & pouring, yo.

Add SCM.

Shake it up. Don’t be a dumbass like me & start the process without finding the matching lid first. I had to make do & transfer to 2 smaller jars to get the job done. duh.

Enjoy. (another great reason to use a jar. perfect for transport to the beach.)

"You should have a blog"…..Ummmm, yeah. About that.

I hear it all the time. “You should start a blog.” Umm, yeah. I have. I’ve started several. It’s the finishing part that I have a problem with. I lack focus, time, motivation. Excuses? Now those I’m good at.

So here we are again. I’ve resolved to do it. Maybe. We’ll see.

My biggest problem is that I don’t have a “thing”. I have lots of them. Cooking, crafting, parties, my kid, and lots & LOTS of random. So I guess that’s where I’ll start. A little bit of everything. Just my random thoughts, daily activities, interests, whatevs.

Wow. That sounds exciting. I’m sure everyone will be enthralled.

I’m going to write this as if no one is watching. Since that is most likely to be the case, it shouldn’t be so hard.