Monday, November 23, 2009

Watch Your Back, Iron Chef

I'm afraid there is no competition worthy of Kateri. While I was doing some very important research , really, on the internet, Kateri found the package of ground turkey I had thawed for hamburgers. And decided to make tacos intstead. But she also knew Pippin liked potatoes, so sh boiled some new potatoes. After exhausting all the websites I could I find, I emerged to find her cooking two-fisted. The turkey was just about done and she was ready to drain and whip the potatoes.
I did help her adjust the seasonings of the taco meat, there was a little too much cinnamon-sugar.
That might have been Pippin's fault as he was "helping" a little. We added some taco spices and it came out tasting kind of like a Moroccan taco. But it was tasty.

I might add that this was after she vacuumed the up-stairs, cleaned the bathroom, and put on a load of laundry. All without me asking her to , or her asking for help.

The kids have all been into cooking lately. Audrey made french toast for everyone last week for break fast. Cyril likes to make hashbrowns and they can all make "egg in a nest" too.

I"ll talk about my important research later. Shane's home and it's time for tacos.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


La Villa Mahana was booked on the 11th. But we got a table on the 12th. Yeah! I'm thinking a white dress. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I did not see this one coming!

Two weeks ago:

Shane tells me he has a surprise for me. In December.

I ask for hints. He says "No" he'll tell me the day before we leave.

OK. So we're going somewhere.

I ask what I'll need to be prepared.

He says he'll tell me what to pack the day before.

A few days later he says he'll tell me on the way to the airport. For now, just have my passport and bathing suit ready. He says he's already arranged for the kids. So we're flying and will be gone at least over night.

I think,' we did a trip already this year'. Either my kids aren't as difficult as I thought, people are crazy, or just really, really nice. Or all three. Any way, thanks to everyone for making this possible and way to keep a secret. I guess he's been planning it for awhile. Though apparently he did not disclose location and even let out some misleading information in the event of a slip up.

I rule out New York. He knows I don't like the cold much. I think maybe Hawaii- we still had a credit for the messed up flight on our way to Palau.

Then I think of Mexico. That would be warm too. He gives me two hints. Its not Mexico. Its not Hawaii. I think maybe the Carribean, but don't say anything. Then I also think any place with a hotel could have a hot tub. Requiring a bathing suit. And it would be like Shane to give me crazy misleading clues.

I ash him how long we'll be gone, and if I'll miss a cooking class.

He says 6 days. And yes. I'll miss a class. He says he doesn't want me to think or worry about anything. Just plan on a relaxing time.

I immediately think of planes crashing, orphaned children, snorkel kinks while night swimming etc. Then I think I need a new suit as my other one is not that comfortable.

Shane can't help himself and decides to show me some edited pictures. I get a three second look while he covers up the side bar and URL. I take in more than he thought I would, but still don't guess it. He covers up even more of the pictures. I get to see three or four, but they are all of insides so there is no geography to go on.

The insides are paneled walls and have a sort of NorthWest feel. But that would not require a plane. If we really are going on a plane.

Finally, Shane can't take it. He usually gives me Christmas presents early because "you might like to have it now". And he was agonizing over some of the decisions he needed to make and couldn't ask for my input. I know Shane is a bit extreme, and when he says he thought of a cool vacation, and then thought even cooler, and then took it to the extreme cool and came up with this ,I was still floored.

Then I was scared and running through all the bad scenarios- Hungarians are ridiculous I tell you-and Shane was wondering if he should have told me. But after a good night sleep, and some good tea time at Tirzah's, I felt better and was able to embark on fine tuning some of the details.

Shane would like to go para sailing. Together. And do a snorkel on the ocean side. And maybe a helicopter tour. Oh, and jet skis. I was sort of surprised sky diving was not on his list.

I did some reading and put this on our list. Generally they recommend a 3 month advance reservation. But I called our hotel and she said she could arrange something. They only have 6-8 tables and only serve that many couples an evening. I said we'd like the 11th but will take any night they have available. Maybe I'll need a new dress too?

I got a new swim suit. I remembered an article where the woman said she had a terrible time trying to fit into the fashions of Audrey Hepburn that were all the rage. Until she realized she was more of a Sophia Loren type figure. Well I'm kind of a shorter, stretched and saggy version of Audrey Hepburn, so I decided to go with something that doesn't try to re-shape, prop up, or pretend something is there when its actually somewhere else. I still have to do some tailoring but I think it should work.

And I even took a swim lesson for some practice and tips. He said as long as I didn't panic, I'd be fine. But when I swim at night, in deep water, far from the shore- I panic. Luckily the lagoon is 4-8 feet in most places and I'm not sure we'll do much night swimming. Just after one lesson I was ravenous for hours. I'm afraid with my terribly inefficient metabolism I'll have to go on the Michael Phelps diet for a month. And practice mindful eating. Meaning be mindful that I EAT. Lots and often. I can easily get distracted or busy and then by dinner I wonder why I feel exhausted and grumpy and don't have energy to work out or vacuum, or be nice to anyone. That's why I prefer weights to cardio work outs. Which I should work on for the next few weeks.

And get the Christmas plans going too. I did some shopping on Sunday and got the kids their Christmas jammies, the girls dresses, and a couple extra things. Hooray for Amazon. I'll just find all the art supplies we wanted and get it ordered. Soon. Last year we had such inclement weather it disrupted deliveries. It has been windy here lately, but I'm sure its nothing Mr Postman can't handle. I did order sunscreen so that it would come in time.

And I've got to keep the kids on track so we don't get behind in school stuff as well. And I guess I should clean out the fridge before Thursday. And while I'm at it, I'd like to find some jeans that don't try to turn me into a Bratz doll. But right now I think I need a snack.

I did do weights with Shane, after he did the cardio without me. And then I slept really well, woke up early, and am looking forward to doing another work out tonight. He has the P90X work out DVDs, which are nice because they are varied and I can use lighter weights or do less reps and we can still work out together. Unless its cardio. Or anything with jumping. I have a hard time not migrating into him or the bookshelves if I do jumping jacks. So weights really are safer for me. And Shane. I should have a snack to get prepared for it.

Guess Who's Swimming?

Kateri and Pippin have been asking every week, when they can sign up for swim lessons. Well we missed some lessons because of colds and I was told I could use them for for any registered swimmer. And since you only pay registration for the first two swimmers, I went ahead and registered the other kids.
They were so excited on their lesson day. Pippin was madly tearing the house apart looking for his Curious George swim shorts. He couldn't find them and settled for his plain blue ones. Kateri found her suit and put it on right after breakfast, though lessons were not until 3:45

Pippin tried on the different goggles while Kateri had her lesson. Kateri loved it- shocking- and fearlessly jumped in from the side and put her head under water. Pippin said he didn't like the swimming part because his face got wet. But he did like the "black float". I think for now they will just pick up the other kids missed lessons. I'm not sure I can get a regular spot for them and arriving at 3:45 was too early. The parking lot was jammed with buses and parents picking up their kids. We were almost late just because of parking. But the big kids are learning a lot, and it wears them out. Cyril asked if we could stop at QFC and get a whole chicken for dinner after lessons. We stopped. And got two.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Newest Member

This is Draca. At first she was Draco. Then the kids did some reading and investigating, and found out "she" is a girl. I didn't ask for details but they changed her name and now they are plotting to get a Draco so they can have little Dracettes. We're thinking she is a little young yet.
The kids were thrilled when we brought her home. Cyril- whose room she stays in- was sure he wouldn't get any sleep that first night as he's probably have to get up a lot to check on her. She has shed once already and seems happy in her new home. She is pretty low maintenance, aside from having to buy and feed her crickets. Its more difficult to keep the crickets alive. But the kids are happy with their pet. I'm happy she doesn't bark, shed hair, or need a litter box. Pippin is a little upset he doesn't have his own gecko. I'm sure this will just be the beginning of the pet years, but so far so good.