Posts Tagged birthdays

G-strings, Birthdays and the Great Need for Patience

17 November 2009

For as much joy as little Ellie Graye brings to me, she can make me bat-crap nutso in a way that is almost comical, but not quite…especially when she’s tired and hungry – which tonight she was both of. The tired part, we just had to wait out; the hungry part? Oh man, oh man, oh man.  She wouldn’t eat ANYTHING – and I refuse to give her crappy food.  She’ll eventually get hungry enough to eat something with actual nutritional value.  I cannot wait until I can say, “I’m not your line-order chef, little girl,” or “This is what we’re having for dinner; it’s this or nothing.”  For now the food thing is just crazy-making, and I’m about ready to pull my hair out! But I AIN’T giving in!

She has over the last few days been eating gnocchi…which is better than french fries, I suppose.  In order to alleviate at least a little bit of the guilt surrounding giving her a carb overload, I decided to make some homemade pumpkin gnocchi.  I did – and rather successfully, I might add. BUT my darling daughter decided that since they didn’t look exactly like the gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, they were better off served to the dogs who sat beneath the high-chair eagerly awaiting her cast-offs.  Nothing like seeing your hard work get hurled across the room as dogs jump into the air snapping at flying pieces of pasta.

Pumpkin gnocchi with spinach

It was almost as entertaining as that Wii game where you try to hit the soccer balls with your head but avoid the shoes and panda heads that are being thrown at you wildly across the screen.  Gnocchi was everywhere.  Scraping pasta off the walls of the kitchen while my child screamed and thrashed around on the floor wasn’t exactly how I would have planned my birthday.  But it is what it is.

I did have to call and vent to my unexpecting husband who answered the phone chipperly, “Hey Babe! How’s your birthday?”
“Oh. Man. It must be really hard having the baby so much by yourself,” he said in a sincerely sympathetic voice.
Crap. Why’s he gotta be so good at this???
I was still annoyed and upset and feeling sorry for myself, but yet another good guy helped me chill out a bit more – my friend Matt.  He has a little boy a few months older than Ellie Graye, and was understanding, patient, and sympathetic too.  Just having someone say, “Wow! That sucks!” made things feel a little less overwhelming.
Needless to say, EG went to bed early tonight…and without a fight.  Maybe she was just overtired.

My little stinker right before she threw a fit because I wouldn’t turn the TV on

Today was also Victor’s 40th birthday.  Oddly enough, despite his constant work right alongside me, I had never given him samples of all the vodkas that I’ve made.  Thus, part of his gift was just that – a sampler pack of 12 of the different vodkas that we’ve made from what we’ve grown here at DPF (there are still 5 – 6 more flavors!!!).

blackberry, jalepeno, watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, asian pear, blueberry, pear, rhubarb, apple, spiced pear, and wild plum

I covered a box with wallpaper I had found on clearance somewhere a while ago, and then wrapped it up in cellophane.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

The box was the one the bottles came in, but I wanted their necks to show, so I cut it down

I reused the dividers that had come in the box

Placed one of our logo stickers (Colin designed that!)

Wrapped it up, and it was gift-ready!
The only other thing that I managed to get done today (aside from the vodka sampler box and the pumpkin gnocchi) was take care of the left over chicken that was in the refrigerator.  I hate throwing food out, but there wasn’t much left – so I did what I always do…made an appetizer out of it.  Yeah, I know…I’m a planner, but it’s just such an easy thing to make, and when you’re rushing around or have unexpected guests, having one of these in the freezer can be a life saver!  I simply use the blender adapter on my immersion blender, and basically make a puree of the leftover chicken (or whatever you have, I’ve used everything from veggies to beef stew) then spread it on a sheet Pillsbury dough, top with bbq sauce and cheese, roll, and voila – an appetizer waiting to be baked.  I wrap it in parchment paper, throw in the freezer, and use it on a day when I need it!  No waste, and I’m oh-so-prepared!

The chicken was from a rotisserie chicken I got at Costco

top with bbq sauce and cheese

Roll and freeze!

My mother brought me lunch today in honor of my birthday.  I’m glad she lives so close now; her visit helped make my day special!

I wonder what she was thinking about…she looks so pensive

She brought me flowers, and then while she was here….

Flowers from my husband arrived!

I was just chatting with a friend of mine from the days I spent in Madonna’s household.  One particular birthday of mine was…well…it was odd.  We all gathered round for cake and gift-giving – the kids gave me their cute little cards, and I started opening gifts from other members of the household staff.  As I opened them, I became more and more confused…finally, I asked, “Um, did you guys come up with a theme for this birthday or something?”  When I finally opened the gift from Madonna herself, I just laughed.  For some reason (and no, it wasn’t planned), everyone had gotten me some kind of underwear…the chef had bought me a tank with matching panties that said, “I like boys.” The other nanny had bought me a cute little nighty.  The gift from Madonna? A g-string with beads. Yes. That’s what I said.  The clincher? The beads could be taken off and used as a necklace – I kept it, because, well…because I have a g-string from Madonna.

My birthday present to myself? Sleep.

Talking to Yovani. “HIIIIIIIIII”

Making the gnocchi

She wanted him dressed…

her reaction to seeing him dressed

You can’t tell, but she was dancing with Teddy!

Where'd the Weekend Go?

15 November 2009
Is it really already Sunday night?  How the heck did that happen?  I feel like I was just cuddling into bed, thinking of all the weekend held, and now here it is SUNDAY??? Wow.
I lucked out tonight.  I got my husband for an extra night – of course, that’s because we got to the airport so late, that he missed his flight, and so we then had to deal with the stress of that situation, and a screaming child the entire way home, but hey – whatcha gonna do?  I know what I’m going to do! I’m going to see the silver lining and say, “WOO HOO! We got extra time together as a family!”  Unfortunately for him, it was the last flight of the day, and now he has to wait until tomorrow night to leave.  I don’t remember any other time that he’s missed his flight in all these years of his flying every week.  He did once forget his wallet at the house, and I had to speed through the streets of LA to go get it – but other than that, he’s always got his stuff together.
We had a nice family weekend.  Last night my mother, her husband Ed, Colin and Jake came over for a little early birthday celebration.  With Jeffrey leaving for the week, it was really the only time we could all get together.
It was nice and low-key, and great to see my mother after a couple of weeks.  She had been down in Mountain View visiting my sister and my beautiful little niece Sydney.  I missed her, but am happy she got to spend time with the new baby, bonding and getting to know each other!  Colin and Jake arrived after Colin’s soccer game, and brought the loud voices, the funny stories, high energy, and of course, lots of entertainment for Ellie Graye!
Uncle Jake is so darn silly!
I made some simple appetizers, lasagna and a blackberry jam spice cake, and mom brought a salad, roasted garlic and some delicious fresh bread from the Lamb’s Bakery.
Store-bought Boursin dressed up with pretzels!

Caprese with tomatoes from the garden (we ripened them indoors) and basil from mom’s kitchen window

The spice cake made with my homemade blackberry jam 

the table (can you tell I love white? It’s so versatile. I’ll write about that someday)

Jake serving mom

Ellie’s Bampa Ed

In honor of my birthday, Colin decided that he was going to be the bartender for the night.  I should have known better: at our Halloween party, he made our friend Sharon one hell of a shot.  I was standing at the beverage table, serving something to a newly arriving guest, when he came up behind me,
“Missy! Missy! I gotta make a shot. What do you have? What do you have?”  I don’t know why, but he ALWAYS repeats things.
“Uh, who’s it for – guy or girl?”
“HA! It’s for Sharon!”  He looked like a two year old imitating a monkey, jumping from foot to foot, scanning all the booze, his hands moving all over the place.
“Ok, well, then why don’t I go get some of my homemade coffee liqueur and we can make her something nice.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Here! Let’s use this Mad Dog 20/20 and Boones Farm”
Ok, before you jump to conclusions about the quality of the parties we throw, let me explain something.  My husband is a jokester, a BIG jokester.  When we moved here to Deer Park and started hosting new friends in our home, he thought it would be funny to see what kind of reactions we would get by just having low-quality, white-trashy, cheap alcohol sitting on our bar shelf.  He went out and bought Night Train, Boones Farms and Mad Dog in several flavors, and placed them along side our bottles of Grey Goose and Belvedere.  No one has ever said anything, unless he points them out – though we’re still wondering why some of the Night Train is gone from one of the bottles!  Who did that?!?! Hee hee, I have a funny feeling someone was playing a joke on US!
That is the basis of my wary attitude towards Colin’s bartending skills. So last night, as he was scanning all my flavored vodkas, I was cringing and trying so hard not to just take control.  A few minutes later,  he presented me a martini glass filled with a slightly pink drink with black flecks in it.
“Here, try this,” handing me the glass. “But don’t….”
Tasting his drink…
“Don’t SMELL it” was what he was about to say. I took a deep breath in just before I took a big sip, and WOOOOOOOSH – I was coughing and snarfing my drink everywhere.
“Woah!” I exclaimed, laughing, sneezing, and falling over all at the same time. “It’s good, but ground pepper up my nose isn’t exactly the happy birthday I was expecting!”
His concoction of watermelon and jalepeno vodkas with a splash of Sprite was delicious, but much better WITHOUT the freshly ground pepper floating on top! Of course, being the childish siblings we are, we then had to try the trick on mom and Jake (my husband doesn’t drink) – both with the same results.  It was pretty funny, I must admit!
The ingredients minus the pepper for snorting

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her reaction a half-second later!

I wonder if she would have done a better job!
We ended the night watching the Notre Dame game and opening gifts.  Mom gave me an adorable serving platter with a matching serving knife/utensil that she had purchased in Buffalo, NY before moving out here.  I could have used the pancake molds for the delicious pumpkin pancakes that i had made earlier Saturday morning…honestly, they’re scrumptious!  Jeffrey surprised m

e with the coffee pot to our wedding china – it’s beautiful, and way more than I had anticipated for my birthday.  He also must follow my blog closely, because he picked up the chopper I had seen a couple weeks ago at Williams-Sonoma!  I’m thrilled and canNOT wait to use it!

the best brothers in the world!

not so happy about how the Irish played

how I watched the game!

I’ll have to plan a party around this decor sometime….

I love how elegant the lines are on this!

I can’t wait to chop!

Everyone left around 9:30 pm, and I just couldn’t rally to go see Boots play at Dante’s.  I was just too exhausted.  So I crawled into bed, and tried to sleep.  Unfortunately, Ellie was awake at 1:30 am, screaming and uncomfortable; we cuddled and rocked and snuggled for about an hour and a half.  As many of you know, I’m all for letting a child “cry it out” when it’s necessary, but in this case, she was genuinely uncomfortable, frightened, and in need of some mommy time.  I was in desperate need of sleep, but it’s amazing how when a little person needs something, you somehow find a way!
I have vivid memories of a little boy and his sister in my past having difficult nights of sleeping because of constant jet lag. Several nights, I was found sleeping in the hallway between their two doors so that they both could hear me say, “Get back into bed” or sing, “Tender Shepherd, Tender Shepherd, Let me help you guard your sheep!” When you love a little child, it really is amazing what you’ll do for them – even if you do it a little begrudgingly.
“TENDER SHEPHERD, TENDER SHEPHERD,” was sung rather harshly on more than one occasion after multiple nights of only a few hours of broken sleep!  In fact, sometimes I’d want to change the words to,
“GO TO SLEEP, YOU LITTLE BASTARD, I’M TOO TIRED TO DEAL WITH THIS…” (if you know this song from Peter Pan, you’ll realize that the words fit perfectly!).
Honestly, I highly doubt I’m the only person who has felt this way about the self-sacrifice it takes to raise a healthy, happy, well-balanced child! I bet there are more than a few of you who are sitting there, shaking your head, laughing, saying, “Oh YEAH! I totally know that feeling!”
As far as my animals go, Dr. Frank is really on the mend – he’s looking better every day.  His sheath is no longer swollen, he’s gaining weight, and he’s high as a kite!  I’m so relieved, and am almost ready to humbly say that maybe my vet does know what he’s doing, and admit that it might possibly have been a bad reaction to something in the Timothy Hay that I was giving him.  I’m not there YET, but am getting there!
I did have

to take Boots in to get his anal glands expressed again (I have to take him every 2 – 3 weeks).  We need to have them removed, but after having spent so much cash on Frank over the last few months, Boots is just going to have to deal with a sore butt.  Poor Boots. I shut the car door on his tail tonight. Yeah, I know. I suck. He was fine, other than a squeal of pain, but that delighted Ellie Graye so it all balances out!

Aaaah, joy. Here’s to parenting, missing flights, pets, and birthdays you want to ignore! CHEERS!



Mom and her beautiful dog Cassie – with Jax begging for some attention!


Boots saying, “Let’s PLAY!”

Ellie: “Nah, I’d rather step on these.” 

She loves her spoons!

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