Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the sickness...

i felt like i was nearly dying sunday night when, after having several days off work for the big family garage sale, i returned home from work and started running a fever. further proof that i am alergic to work and should become a stay at home doggie and kitty mom. after sleeping horribly sunday night and off and on monday i finally got some sleep and started to feel better. no, i didn't have the swine flu or sars (although, with the amount of chinese food we've eaten regularly it wouldn't have surprised me). i realized that every year around this time i get the worst upper-respiratory cold thing that knocks me out for a couple of days when everyone kicks on their air and the air inside is way drier than the outside and my system doesn't handle it well. on the upside, i'm feeling really good today minus the congestion. the down side is that now i have to catch up on laundry and dishes and keeping my horseydoggie tired so she doesn't shred anything or eat the kitty's head. the last few days she's been guarding our house from her position on the sofa:
now i just wish she'd actually guard us instead of barking at leaves and squirrels and the dog across the street. when people walk in the house she barks so quietly i wouldn't hear it if she wasn't trying to hide under my legs... silly dog, have to love her though

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

herro at home...

tonight was cfw and we did it at home and healty! we had a full dinner made entirely from biggest loser recipes and here are the results:
this was supposed to be szechuan beef but i quickly found out that szechuan sauce is super spicy and since josh, pat & i don't do spicey very well we changed it to general tsao's beef and it was fantastic! we'll definitely be making it again
this was our sweet & sour chicken which, i may be biased in saying this but, was even better than take-out, josh doesn't usually eat the sweet & sour sauce but he did eat it since it was all over the chicken.
and finally, we come to dessert, delicious kaluah and chocolate mousse parfait... wait, where'd it go? looks like denise got to it first but it was delicious and healthy (sorry again pat, i really had no clue that you didn't like whipped cream)...
josh says he's still hungry i'm sure it was just because the men would probably have eaten the whole batch of chinese themselves instead of sharing it with denise and i if they had the chance. after dinner pat decided he was going to style denise's hair (with his stylus, sorry that was a joe joke), i don't think she was very excited about it.
after dessert we kept our thrifty date nite theme with a cheap move, we watched 'paul blart, mall cop' and even though denise thought it was one of the worse movies ever made (not anywhere close to her type of movie) josh, pat and i thought it was hilarious and kevin james is still on my list of comedy's greats, well maybe not greats, but definitely up there with the good ones. it was eventually over and denise got to leave to go home and read something intellectual. all in all it was a great cfw and we'll be doing it again soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

seesters unplugged...

no, we weren't singing, we were just laughing and having a great time. tonight was girl's night out with the bennett/blankenship ladies at papa vino's. yay bread with oil and garlic! in attendance were sara & tyler, becky, grandma helen, and my mother-in-law sue. we much enjoyed the papa vino's usual bread and oil, although the bread was a bit dry tonight, not as good as usual. grandma helen, sue and i had a new dish, angelhair pasta with tilapia, shrimp and stuffed mushrooms (fantastic), sara had the pasta con pollo and becky had the chicken scalopini both of which looked super delicious. conversaton ranged from sara's upcoming surgery (she leaves for cleveland tomorrow and we're all praying that this is the last time) and tyler's random questons that confuse everyone but we still play along. tonight's question: 'who would win, tom cruise, james bond, nick cage, or chuck norris?' we ended up with 2 votes nick cage and 3 for chuck norris (he is chuck freakin norris after all!) but feel free to comment your feelings on the matter and i will pass them along to the boy so he can add your vote to the tally. after we ate i, as usual, got out my phone and decided to take some photos, to add to this blog (some of which you've already seen). who knew that tyler 'mr. i-need-to-be-the-center-of-attention' didn't want his picture taken unless he was doing something crazy or making a funny face. here are the results:he's quite the attention-getter and continued to 'not want his picture taken' into the car although it turned into more of a 'try to take my picture game' until we got back to grandma's house.and he laughed the whole way. once we got back to grandma's we played with paulyanna, chatted, drank some coffee and laughed. paulyanna is getting so big, she's probably close to 4 pounds now and is a big ball of fluff. her favorite game seems to be 'get the head' where she climbs all over tyler, licking his face and nibbling on his ears

she'll go to the vet on thursday so we'll find out exactly how big she's gotten in the past month. she was about a pound and a half just after st. patrick's day so she's definitely growing quickly, although, she'll always be super small compared to rockne the horsey doggie.

i guess that's all for tonight, keep your prayers with sara through her surgery on friday, luv ya seester!

Monday, April 13, 2009

weekend update and a new arrival

beacuse easter was yesterday we've postponed cfs to wednesday this week and i'll be making our chinese food, homemade and healthy? hot diggity dog... denise is excited:we did chill with the ayo-raders (pat & denise) saturday night after dianne's birthday party at haciend (surprising to anyone that knows her but denise was really that happy at hacienda) and i just had to get some photos of their new baby up here, she's almost 10 weeks old and her name is emmy, a nice fit with their other dog, oscar (get it? oscar & emmy!!!) anywho... for those of you that haven't seen her on their respective facebook pages, the emmy goes to: anyone trying to take her picture!
we did do the family thing on easter and i don't have time to put up all of the pictures my nieces took for me but i'll get them up later tonight, here is a photo i took of the boat that tyler and i (mainly i) built sunday afternoon, it's a guppy and supposedly will actually float if you buy waterproofing spray... and no, we didn't make it out of the nilla wafers in the background, those were needed to help prop it up. see ya'll later!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday & Easter Hunter!!

so as you may or may not know, our friend brian has a son named hunter that will be turning one on wednesday (tax day)!! and yes, brian and tiffany are still in the process of divorce and it's still not happy. so back to hunter... his birthday party is tomorrow (saturday) and then easter is sunday so tiffany has combined both events into one weekend. i have to work tomorrow so i can't stop by the birthday party and i'm quite sure i'm not welcome to stop by on easter so brian and i went shopping for presents tonight and i'm sending mine with him. shopping for the itty bitties is harder than i thought. since tiffany doesn't seem to like me very much, and i am not her biggest fan, i was going to buy hunter some noisy toys but after realizing that they're much more expensive than i remember buying for casi when she was little i decided to get things to go with what bryan bought. for his birthday brian bought the radio flyer tricycle and a nascar 'cat' shirt (as in the big yellow, heavy machinery caterpiller trucks) and for easter he got hunter the mega blocks 'cat' dumptruck, a chocolate bunny and a stuffed dog that looks something like a cross between rocknelou and brian's dog daisy. i got him the mega blocks fire truck that isn't as big as the dumptruck but the blocks are all the same size so he can play with them. here's what it looked like all put together and wrapped as much as possible:
it is his first birthday so we tred to get a few things he could play with now as well as a few things he'll grow into over the next year, the blocks will probably end up being thrown or chewed on or knocked around now but the puppy is soft and cuddly and he'll be able to push the trike and trucks until he's a bit more stable on his feet. all in all i think we did a good job for me not planning on getting anything until a couple days ago and brian wanting to get everything in sight! i guess that's all for now, i hope hunter has a great birthday and easter (and that i get to see some pictures of him and his dad playing) g'nite everyone!

ps. let's hope brian isn't in jail by the end of the weekend... don't ask

Thursday, April 9, 2009

cupcakes and my horsey doggie

i'm very near sleep as i write this, so hopefully i don't ramble on for too long. after work tonight i went to the grocery and got enough stuff for a few dozen cupcakes and an egg cake (egg shaped that is). tomorrow is the company meeting and even though we usually get donuts rose suggested we do something different. at noon today making a few dozen cupcakes didn't seem like a big job, pretty easy, and they sell frosting in a can like whipped cream now so you just squirt it out in a pretty pattern and it's done...that was at noon. I got home from the grocery around 9pm and at that point i was thinking that i had lost my mind earlier and should just get donuts and be done, everyone loves the donuts from stone's and it wouldn't be a big deal. then i thought of our spending diet and how i just spent money on frosting, cake mix, cupcake papers, and it would be a waste to just put all of that in the cupboard and save it until i was ready to make some cupcakes so now, 3 hours later, we have cupcakes and an egg cake:i'm sure everyone at work will love them and it did give me some time with my kitchen aid and there's always a beater to lick and some frosting to taste test so other than the massive dose of sugar i'm sure to have in the morning, it was worth it. the only problem is that rockne is used to playing once we get home at night because she's in her crate all day so she was constantly barking at me to play even though i was trying to clean up and then decorate, she rarely barks but usually she's begun barking whenever she wants something and we're not paying enough attention. tonight she 'had to go out' much more than usual and most of her time was spent sniffing and running back and forth. once she finally started to calm down she just kept chewing on what was left of her bone but wouldn't move off of my feet. silly horsey doggie (that would be her new name if you haven't been around recently, it started once she hit the 60lb. mark and continued to run around like a newborn pony). she was jumping all over the furniture tonite (notice the missing sofa cushions and the big wrinkly spots in the others:and then after collapsing gave the innocent look that always melts her mommy's heart:
and even though she looks very cute now chewing on the last knot of her bone i must put her to bed before i fall asleep and wake up with a chewed up laptop. g'nite everyone and if i don't blog before that, happy easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

house cleaning and my new favorite book...

ARRRGGGGG... so i said i was going to type my blog in all lower case but today is the day for some uppercase letters too. it's two weeks and two days until the big family garage sale, yay! i cannot believe it will be here that soon, we've got a lot to sell and it will be nice to have the extra space in all of our closets, drawers, cupboards, etc. on the down side though, i've been spending most of my non-working moments sorting, purging, cleaning, sorting more, throwing more away, and exhausted. We were working so much that we decided to put rocknelou outside to let her run around, not chase the kitty, not shred anything, not get into the trash, etc. apparently she ran around quite a bit because she has now been sleeping all evening. check this out, she started wedged in behind the pillows:
then rolled part way over to stretch, she's such a silly girl!as if that's not enough josh & i also decided that we're going on a serious spending diet (UGH) and part of 'the plan' for us is to eat at home or take food to work from home. since we're making it ourselves it may as well be healthy, right? so now i've got the added stress of cooking something that is actually healthy, or at least mostly healthy which bring me to my new favorite book, or rather books!
We had the steak fajitas tonight (BLFC pg. 150) and even though we didn't use 'low-carb whole wheat tortillas' it was delicious and still pretty healthy. I think this week's cfs is going to be either sweet and sour chicken (BLFC pg 114) or szechuan beef & broccoli (BLFC pg 153). it also has some fantastic desserts and appetizers that look like something josh would even eat. did anyone else know that a healthy dessert could consist of chocolate graham crackers, cool whip and peanut butter? or that a healthy breakfast could be bananas, yogurt, strawberries and chocolate sauce? not necessarially every morning but heck, i can have a (sort-of) banana split for breakfast and some (almost) s'mores with my dinner!
i'm one very happy girl tonight, hope everyone else is having a good week!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

He had me at herro...

here it is again folks, cfs! we went to mandarin house tonight and had some of the best general tso's chicken ever (at least, that we've ever tasted). we decided near the beginning of our dinner that we need to start rating, or at the very least, reviewing the places we go so that all of you know that if you decide to have your own cfs what to prepare for. the notes from mandarin house went as follows:
  • service & food quality - superb
  • steamed (aka. white) rice - good, not overcooked, a bit too sticky for the boys, they'd prefer smaller clumps but if you're the chopstick using type it's great
  • crab rangoon - one of the few time denise has actually been able to taste the crab, yay!
  • pot stickers - a bit on the pricey side, 5.95 for 6, but the meat was very tasty, they were steamed then fried to perfection, the only down side was that the acompanying sauce wasn't as good as the sauce at OG (the chinese takeout we use as the 'constant' for our project, also the only restaurant we've been able to find something that everyone likes and that everyone feels is a good value for the price)
  • general tso's chicken - the best we've had, crispy fried outside with delicious tender insides, fantastic sauce (that tasted great on the potstickers) but a small portion for the price, roughly 1/2 the size of OG's portion
  • mongolian beef - good sauce, skimpy on the meat that, once separated from the onions and peppers, wasn't really a portion and had a very onion-y after taste
  • sizzling rice soup (soup for 2 according to the menu) - not really a 2 person portion but denise did have leftovers, a decent soup but denise will try something different next time
  • egg roll - smaller than OG's egg roll but josh thought it tasted better
  • shrimp toast - some of the best i've had, it seemed like the shrimp had been made into a paste then put on the toast and fried but it tasted fantastic, not too greasy or fishy, just a good piece of toast
  • fortunes - a bit on the lame side, see for yourself:

overall the service was amazing, never an empty glass or dish lingering, and our waitress was very knowledgeable and friendly but not too chatty and the food was great but left us hungry for more.

because we were still hungry, the discussion of dessert came up and at first we were going to get denise a milk tea (i'll explan in a future blog) but then pat mentioned the chocolate volcano at don pablo's. chocolate cake with ice cream and hot fudge? i'm in! we arrived at don pablos with the plan to sit, eat our chocolate and get out but as the boys were perusing the menu they decided to get some queso and flautas before our volcanos. long story short, our waiter got confused and didn't put in the order for the flautas so we had queso only then got our volcanos, in a word, fab!
pat was sad once his was gone and denise had to get the chocolate out of his beard
and then he couldn't figure out his phoneand thus ends another cfs (renamed for today chexican food sunday, or chex-mex sunday)

Friday, April 3, 2009

my mom is an actress again

tuesday night was a day i didn't think i'd see, at least not in this lifetime. dad and i went to see mom make her return to the stage, and her debut was, in a word, inspiring.
that's dad and I in our small but cushiony seatsi don't remember a time that my mom was the 'get loud' 'get crazy' type except around family, although i had heard stories of her acting in high school and college. it all started about a month or so ago when i got a crazed facebook message from mom that she had emailed in an audition (didn't know that was possible) for a production of our town at notre dame and got the part! now, anyone that knows my mom knows that she is a huge fan of anything stage & screen but for it to be at notre dame 'the happiest place on earth' and to be on the debartolo mainstage of all places, it was the debut we had been waiting for! it was a small part, a dead person in the 3rd act, but the dead people are on stage for all of the 3rd act and she had lines!!! who returns to the stage after 30+ years (a guess based on my age and the photos i've seen of productions she worked on) and gets to do it on the mainstage at notre dame?????

there's the set, hard to see but it's totally empty except for the hundreds of lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling (if you've not seen our town they keep the set super simple to emphasize the back to basics theme) and below is the program, there's her name, 5th down in the list of "townspeople"

the whole show was great, very emotional and a good reminder to stop and take a minute to enjoy life and i highly encourage you to see if it if you have the chance either tonight or tomorrow that she will be in or on sunday but she won't be there because of work.

congrats mom, i couldn't be happier!!! i'm anxiously awaiting the next production and will keep you posted...