Monday, May 31, 2010

May 2010

May started off with a fun game day Caleb organized all by himself. He thought of this great idea to plan games and have his friends come over to play. It was all Caleb. He planned ahead and even made his own invitations that he passed them out to his friends the week before. He was so creative and proactive. He planned at least 10 different games & activities. I don’t think they even got around to play them all. I didn’t do ANYTHING other than sit back and drink tea with the other moms. They built Lego cars and raced them down a ramp, threw water bottle caps into different size containers worth different points, drew monsters with washable markers and then raced to melt the monsters off by shooting the monsters with water guns, and so on and so on. Hours and hours…and hours of fun. I am constantly aware of how lucky Ben is to have such a wonderful big brother and such a full childhood.

We had a short visit with Grandma Jean on her way to Kauai. She’ll be back in June. Can’t wait.

Then we got to celebrate Mother’s Day and my Mom’s birthday. My parents came down for the weekend and we had a lovely time. Jon’s mom came over for the morning. Jon made a big fancy breakfast to honor us moms. He knows how much I love gourmet food. He made Dutch Baby pancakes, eggs, and bacon. If you’ve never had a Dutch Baby, you’re missing out. A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, is a sweet breakfast dish that comes out of the oven big and fluffy. It is then served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar. Oh my goodness was it good! And to top it off he did all the dishes! He is a thoughtful and sweet husband. Thanks Honey!

After my Mother’s Day breakfast I transplanted all my little seedlings outside into the garden bed and into pots. They’ve been growing inside for about 6-8 weeks and they’re ready for a little more room and sunshine. It was nice to have my mom’s company while I worked. I hope they thrive. I love going outside and looking at all the little plants. It just brings me joy. I can’t wait to have before and after pictures of the progress of the plants. For now they are all very little. Growing from seeds sure takes a long time. A friend of mine started growing about when I did but she bought started plants. Her plants are all a few steps ahead of mine and it’s very helpful to get a look ahead. I’ve already learned a lot about what to do different next time.

We spent one Sunday exploring the Bower’s Museum in Historic Santa Ana. It offers one free Sunday a month that we took advantage of. We enjoyed its new exhibit "Secrets of the Silk Road: Mystery Mummies from China". This exhibit is touring outside Asia for the FIRST TIME! It was really interesting. Caleb got kind of scared of the mummies so he decided to sit that part out. They had an adult mummy and a recreation of the burial site. There was also a mummified baby on display. The baby really got to me. All in all, it was fascinating for Jon & I. The museum had lots of other exhibits that Caleb really enjoyed. There was a big one on Pacific Islander masks and a bunch of stuff from head hunter tribes. He drew pictures of his favorite exhibits. I like to see what he finds interesting. There was also a Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival going on in the courtyard of the museum. The kids saw some traditional Japanese dances and drumming, ate mochi-a favorite rice treat, and made special art projects. Then we walked down the street to the Bowers Kidseum and the kids got do hands on things that related to the exhibits they saw at the Bowers Museum. They tried on lots of masks and played different kinds of drums that represented cultures all over the world. I love when fun and learning blend so perfectly.

I started an exercise regime. My plan is to go for 6 months working out daily. I figure it will be easier for me mentally to make a daily habit than to shoot for a few times a week. So far it’s working pretty well. It takes me about 45 minutes each day. I’ve amended it already to taking Sundays off. I really need that day of rest. I’m still adjusting and just doing my best to do something active and healthy each day. A few people have noticed that I look a little thinner. Our friend Tracy has challenged Jon to a weight loss contest once she has her baby. Ha ha…I hope they actually do it.

Tracy’s sister and I threw Tracy a baby shower at my house. My patio was transformed. I always hate cleaning up from parties like this because it looks so pretty that I just want to leave it that way. We draped gauzy fabric over the patio lights in the backyard and set our tables with sterling silver tea sets and porcelain tea cups and saucers. It was really special to me because I got to use the sterling silver tea set that I inherited from my Grandma Carol for the first time. I love her so much and it reminded me of her for the whole day. Add a few fresh flowers from my garden and ta-da…a beautiful and breezy afternoon tea/70’s fondue party. As strange as that sounds, it turned out wonderful. I started with a ceasar pesto salad with homemade croutons. Then, I served a creamy havarti and racelette cheese fondue with various cubes of bread. The next course was marinated steak and chicken that the guests cooked themselves in a very hot wine broth fondue. In addition there were lots of yummy veggies and potatoes to cook in the wine broth fondue. Then they got to take the cooked meat and veggies and dip them in one of the yummy dips I made: garlic lemon dip, blueberry dip, green goddess dip (very herby), and peanut cilantro dip. To end up the meal we had a chocolate fountain and I made a peanut butter white chocolate dessert fondue. Oh my…food heaven. Gifts and games and friends and fun…we had a good time celebrating Tracy and the soon arriving baby boy Flores.

Random fact: We signed up for Netflix to save a few bucks on movie rentals. For only $8.99 we get to watch unlimited movies/television episodes through the Wii on the television. Netflix gave us a special streaming disk to put into the Wii that makes this possible. It is connected to the internet so we choose what we want to watch online and then it automatically goes to our Wii. It looks and sounds almost as good as a DVD. I like that they have a big list of VeggieTale movies for the kiddos, as well as lots of Saturday morning cartoons from my childhood that I get to introduce the kids to. Additionally, we get one DVD mailer at a time. I’m so glad not to have to deal with the late fees and whatnot that we were getting with Blockbuster’s new policies for in-store rentals.

Ben’s funny antic of the month: Ben was hugging Caleb to apologize for throwing hard toys at him. Then he started squeezing too hard and I asked why and he said to get juice from him.