Posts Tagged jake

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!


21 October 2009
There are nights like tonight when something wells up inside me: an unavoidable feeling of responsibility, of passion, of a burning desire to inspire others (I’m sorry, my friend, about use of the word – you know who you are) and to share the vibrancy that I now feel in my innermost being.  Years ago, I was held captive in a foreign country for 18 months by people who claimed they knew “truth.” Unable to speak freely with my own parents and family, bound by rules and regulations that were held in the name of “God,” living by what I believed to be the way to true freedom, my life stunted and suppressed – it was forever altered.  Indeed, it was there that my shackles were constructed.  It was there I learned to fear.  It was there I learned that life isn’t always what you believe it to be.
Three years ago today, I married a man who saw through all of the walls that were created in that short (yet far-reaching) time. He is a partner who has kept me focused despite my apparent need for distraction, and ultimately has seen in me the woman that I thought I had hidden well behind layers of protection.  Though my decisions haven’t always been in line with what he viewed as ideal, he has been able to hold my hand and lead me through the darkness of healing.  The years of healing have been long, and I still have a far journey ahead of me.  However, through all of my confusion, doubt, anger, and sorrow, Jeffrey has been strong and continually told me, “Melissa. What you think they have stolen from you is not gone – it’s still there. Keep growing. Stay open. I love you just as you are.”  His constant support, honesty, and willingness to develop his own self has helped me find the strength to face the truth of my story, not be ashamed, and KNOW that I am worthy of love.  I am eternally grateful to not only know him, but to have married him, to be the mother of his beautiful daughter, and to be witness to the joy of his own personal growth.  Jeffrey – thank you for helping me see the beauty and strength that I thought I had lost. I love you!
My anniversary flowers
At the same time that I gush, my heart breaks for so many of my friends who are struggling in their relationships…there’s part of me that feels guilty in my happiness.  For all of you (because it seems like everywhere I turn people are struggling), I’m not sure how to help, what to say, or why things are the way they are – but I love you, and I’ve got a lot of love to give, so take me up on it! 😉
On a lighter note…my day was JAM PACKED!!!!! I can hardly believe the time sped by so fast!
When I woke up this morning, Boots was acting odd, as well as dragging his butt on the carpet – again…so off I went to Newberg figuring I would at least get his anal glands expressed.  I told the vet tech that I thought it was more than just his anal glands, and when she came back, she informed me, that indeed the #@$*(&!* dog has a pretty intense infection.  NICE.  That explains the blood hanging out on his tooshie.   The recommendation at this point is to remove the glands instead of having to take him in every three weeks – so we put him on antibiotics, and once we pay down the balance we have at the clinic, I’ll be hauling Boots on over to get his damn anal glands removed.  He’ll be happier, and it MIGHT lower the number of times we have to take him in. Seriously, these are the most high maintenance dogs ever.
I then went shopping for a wig for my halloween costume…here’s what I got – any closer to figuring it out?:

Amy Winehouse?!?!

I ran a few other errands on my way home (including an hour or so at Bella Bellies Maternity Shop to visit my friend Amy), and was absolutely thrilled to see that my brother Jake had arrived in my absence.  I love this guy!  Ellie Graye LOVES her Uncle Jake, and was especially thrilled that he brought her an awesome toy and some adorable shoes…
A food magician – and my cooking teacher

Wooden Asian Cooking set by Melissa and Doug – complete with chopsticks and a wok (the wok and the veggies have velcro on them…BRILLIANT)



And more shoes.
Ellie, of course, picked her ear of corn for the day.  She freaking LOVES the elote.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do when the corn is all gone. As soon as she’s outside the front door, she heads to the vegetable garden, tries to snap off an ear of corn, and then she’ll carry the damn thing around for hours!

Elote in the rose garden

Ellie! Let Uncle Jake cook it for you!!!
Jake showed EG off to one of her Malaysian fans via Skype, and she was just thrilled to see a new face on the computer.

Blowing kisses!!!
Jake made me dinner tonight, and holy crap – I always brag about how amazing he is in the kitchen, but he still never ceases to amaze me!  He and my mother went to the Japanese market the other day, as well as a little Indian spice store where he was able to pick up ingredients not found in regular American supermarkets.  The result was just absolutely spice-ily delicious.  He’s promised that if any of you want the recipe, he’ll send it…it was some sort of curried chicken over seasoned rice cakes with avocado and zucchini – spicy, full-flavored, and somehow a bit nutty.

Prepping the rice

Frying the rice cakes

Waiting for its crown

Zucchini and basil from Deer Park Farms garden

The finished product. YUM!!!
Dinner was yummy, and we scarfed it down…then it was off to the living room for an hour or so to play with the little munchkin.  She’s so hysterical and so much fun.  What a great day.
Rocking with monkey

Mommy’s actually in the photos!!!

We LOVE to play together!!!
Tomorrow I really need to start getting my ass in gear for the Halloween party.  I have so many things to bake, and cook, and plan! YIKES!!! VOLUNTEERS?

Ellie watching and learning from the best

The best.

Boots thinks it’s cuddle time!
I can’t stand Ellie’s little laugh – it’s contagious!