Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Gingerbread - Part II

Dear Food Network,

I am writing to express my interest in competing in your 2009 Gingerbread Mansion Challenge.

Actually, my request is on behalf of my two culinary prodigy children. They have practiced hard this past year with their haunted house and Christmas Coy projects. Their most recent project is what I like to call, Fall from Candy Mountain.

This first photo is what the manufacture determined the project should look like.

You can see from my children's finished project that they add a certain je ne sais quoi to the kitchen.

And finally, I was able to capture a snapshot of the magic in action...

I think you will agree inviting our family to your set would be a truly memorable event for your staff and viewers.

We anxiously await your response!

The House of O

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

A very merry from our house to yours!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The sisterhood

One of the things that sometimes makes me want to have another baby is the fact that Mooka will never get to experience having a sister. Granted she has an amazing relationship with her brother and I love that they are so close in age. Having never had a sibling that close in age to me, I don’t know if it would be the same as having a sister. For example, I can call my sister whenever the latest celebrity gossip hits or I found a great new pair of shoes and she doesn’t question the phone call. If I called my brother for the same news breakers, he would probably ask me if I was drunk.

Sisters can bring out the best in you and the worst in you. There are so many times, when they just “get it” without either of you having to speak a word. There are also times (I think it’s isolated to the high school years) when things aren’t as rosy. I distinctly remember getting caught in the cross fire of a Barbie fight between my dear friend and her sister during a high school argument – not pretty – but today they remain the best of friends.

The magic of sisterhood was shown to me this weekend while attending my dad’s church.

After the service, an older lady came up to tell us how cute our kids are (not uncommon when you have the world’s cutest kids.) After A. and the kids had walked away she asked me to keep her in my prayers because this was going to be her first Christmas without her sister.

Open flood gates now…

She went on to say how her sister had passed away earlier in the year and how she missed her dearly. She also introduced me to her husband and mentioned how grateful she is that she is not completely alone, but it’s just not the same without her sister.

And in a flash, I thought about what my life would be like without my sister.

Standing with this complete stranger sobbing…but in that moment I felt like I was sharing in her loss.

I thought about this woman on the entire ride home and for how thankful I am to have grown up with a sister. How our bond transcends time, distance, boyfriends, whatever gets thrown our way. How there is someone out there who has seen me at my worst and brings out my best and loves me no matter what. For all of that, I am eternally grateful.

We have no plans to have anymore kids, so Mooka will never experience the sister bond. She does however, have a pretty cool little brother, who I am confident, will continue to be her best friend in the entire world.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday gingerbread project part 1

A lot of mom blogs are busy posting about their ideas for holiday projects that you can replicate in your own home.

This is not one of those posts. In fact, I am pretty sure there is no way you would ever be able to copy what went down in our dining room last night.

Exhibit A - What was supposed to happen. I once again fell victim to the retail genius' behind the pre-made gingerbread kits.

Exhibit B - Early on, we could tell that something wasn't quite right. Clearly the water to icing mix ratio described on the box was off. I think it looks a little bit like a rabid animal in this picture. "Look sweetheart! The Christmas coy fish is foaming at the mouth, it's like tiny snow filled bubbles!"

Exhibit C - Baby Bear went and grabbed the real thing for inspiration.

Exhibit D - Lightning McQueen busted after a bad run in with egg nog in Vegas. I may forward this one on to the Food Network so I can be featured next year in one of their holiday specials.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Girl time

Mooka and I began our bonding rituals at the nail salon before she was even out of the womb.

I was about 7 months into my pregnancy when I decided it would be fun to go get a mani pedi at a nail salon in the mall. It was a Saturday, so A. was able to go with me. And off we went.

There was a small wait because it was a Saturday, at the mall.

When it came time for me to get into the chair, A. helped me remove my shoes and climb up into the pedi chair.

And then it happened.

As I sat down…


That’s right, the back of my maternity shorts blew out, gave up, cried uncle.


The kind nail technicians scrambled to give me one of their aprons to cover up my backside; however, their aprons were small enough to fit their 4’11” frames and not my 5’9” 7 month pregnant Montezuma butt.

Did I mention that it was Saturday at the mall?

A. made a quick run to a store to pick up replacement pants and the chaos settled.

The next encounter we had together at a nail salon happened a couple years ago (Mooka would have been 3.5) when some very sweet co-workers gave me a gift card to again have a mani pedi. I thought it would be fun to take Mooka for a girls’ afternoon out.

Things seemed to start out okay but then crash and burn.

While I was sitting in the pedi chair, she sat nicely on my lap. Then she wanted to stick her foot in the water. Okay, no big deal. Then she started splashing her foot in the water. Then she kicked the technician in the face.

Not cool.

They moved us over to get my nails done. Mooka was sitting nicely in one of the nearby chairs until she discovered that it would spin. So she began spinning and ended up tipping the chair over. And I know I should have been the concerned mommy, but I really just wanted to lock her in a closet until the whole process was over. She again, sat on my lap for the remainder of the manicure but not without first knocking the technician in the head with the table lamp.

We’ve not ever returned to that salon.

Last night, I had promised Mooka that she could get her nails done for Christmas. So we loaded up with Baby Bear, who by the way has excellent salon manners and sat nicely on my lap the entire time though it may have something to do with the looming threat of getting his nails painted if he misbehaved.


She was excellent last night and no one got kicked or hit during the entire process. Her nails turned out super cute and they even put little snowmen on each of her thumbnails. I’m excited to have found a salon that actually invited us back!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Parenting lesson #25

"Let's take the Christmas card picture at home this year!"

Never a good idea.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cooking adventure

This past weekend, we took part in Parenting magazine's Holiday Cook and Care. It is a partnership with Young Chef's academy to help raise food for local food banks and to teach kids a few fun kitchen tips.

The Young Chef's Academy had five stations set up; pirate punch, fruit salad, gingerbread man, sugar cookie dough and pomanders. It was cool to have each station run by one of their teenage chefs. The kids had an amazing time. Their favorite station was definitely the gingerbread man.

Tonight, we created the pomanders. It was super easy and now the house has an yummy spicy citrus smell in the air.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Her acting debut

Mooka and I signed up to be in an interactive play at our church called Journey to Bethlehem. She and I are shop keepers in the village.

Last night was our first real walk through and she had a hard time wrapping her little brain around it. I explained that we are all playing pretend and that her goal is to try to sell the baskets from our shop. She did an amazing job with walking around shouting "Baskets for sale" and "Have you seen the Messiah". However, she was quite upset when no one would actually buy her baskets.

During one of the breaks, one of the other shop keepers came over to "buy" some from Mooka. When the lady asked her how much it would be, Mooka replied "Two freckles." She had heard people around us quoting prices in "shekels", so she came up with her own version. It was pretty funny.

(Another Brick Breaker fan...)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Are you there God? It's me, Baby Bear.

This weekend, I was upstairs and asked Baby Bear to run downstairs to grab a notebook for me. He came back with the phone book. I let him know that I wanted something else and as he went back downstairs, I heard the following conversation:

Dear Jesus,

She didn't want the phone book. She wanted the notebook with the yellow sticker.


I just stood still and I'm pretty sure I tilted my head to process the whole thing (kinda like the dogs do when we say 'spaghetti').

Yesterday, we were putting up the Christmas tree and he had a similar conversation:

Dear Jesus,

I'm ready to put the star on the tree, but she won't do it until last.


So, I'm not sure how to feel about the whole thing. He is three and I want to teach him the importance of prayer, but I don't want it to be his outlet for recording the issues that he has with me.

If I stop analyzing it, it is pretty cute and I love listening to his conversations!