Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Craziest Post Ever

I have some unrelated and mostly unimportant things to note.

* This is the best idea ever (my humility is my greatest quality): When at the market, pick up those little baggies of chopped onions and toss 'em in the freezer. You'll always have chopped onion on hand and you won't have to actually chop a goddamn onion on Thursday after work when you need it for dinner. (Well, if you need fresh onion you're screwed, but for cooked this is aces).

* My friend-and-coworker & I were chatting about ice cream the other day & came up with this awesome list of hypothetical ice cream/topping combos:
  • Melon with crispy prosciutto crumbles
  • Maple with crumbled bacon topping
  • Strawberry with reduced balsamic vinegar syrup
  • Pineapple with teriyaki
  • Chocolate with crumbled bbq chips
* I started taking anti-anxiety medication (I know!) and it seems that I am no longer afraid of heights. Also, I lost 30 lbs.

* The main part of the losing 30 lbs, though, is this most awesome diet known to man: The No S Diet. Clickety click if you're curious, but the crux of it is this:
  • No Snacks
  • No Sweets
  • No Seconds
  • Except on days that start with "S" (Saturday, Sunday & special)
* My list of crafty/sewing projects has gotten so nuts that I have an actual Google Docs spreadsheet. It's more complex than the family budget spreadsheet.

* Dash said this about Winnie Kitty the other day, "He's a loose cannon who doesn't play by the rules."

More From the River

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Russian River

OK, listen. If you live within 500 miles of Northern California, do this: pack up the kids, load up the car with Nutter Butters & bottled water and hie thee to Russian River. Or, you know, don't. But then don't come crying to me that you missed out on all the glory of a long weekend spent canoeing and hammocking and gorging on pancakes and wine (well, I guess you'd have to be staying with my family to get the full pancakes and wine experience, but you get my drift.)


We joined my Dad & Stepmom and Stepbrother Doron and Stepsister-In-Law Cheryl (heretofore referred to as Dash's Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt & Uncle because our entire identity is now tied up in how the universe relates to Dash. Shit. Are we raising a future Patrick Bateman? No, don't tell me, I don't want to know.)

This is the river house we rented. It was so little that you had to turn sideways to get around the beds, and none of the doors had locks (or even knobs--just these peg/latch contraptions). But it had a kitchen and two huge decks and a bbq and canoes and a hammock and a private beach, so, you know, we managed somehow.

This is the path from the house's back stairs to the river. Head through that little opening and you're there.

This guy guarded the house while we were rollicking on the river.

Dash raced us back and forth from the river to the house about ten times a day & I still managed to gain seven lbs. on our vacation. Seven glorious wine-and-steak-and-Grandma's-homemade-jam-and-Grandpa's-crispy-pancakes soaked lbs. Worth every ounce. (I can say that now that I've lost 6 of them. I was less impenitent when I stepped my drunk ass on the scale at Cheryl & Doron's house during the bbq they threw for us. Then I was pretty fucking sad. But also drunk, so I forgot right quick. OK, enough about the size of my ass.)

My creation
The river bank was covered with the perfect flat stones for skipping, and poor Josh was appointed as Dash & my stone-skipping tutor. I got two skips, max. Dash just kinda kept plunking handfuls of stones in the water & applauding his natural stone-skipping ability (Christ we indulge that child) and Josh schooled us all with perfect skims all the way across the river to the other side. Show off.

Debating whether or not to get married & have a kid? Here, let this picture decide that for you.

Dash's beloved Grandma & Grandpa

Testing out his new waterproof Batman flip-flops.

The canoe came with the house! We paddled around on the river in it for a few minutes before Dash melted completely down & had to go recover in the warm embrace of his grandparents. Josh & I continued for a while, but were worried that we'd be swept downriver. Next year (and mark my words, there will be a next year) I think we'll book one of those canoe tours that actually picks you up at the bottom of the river so you don't have to paddle/walk back against the current. But still, adventure!

On our second night at the river Aunt Cheryl & Uncle Doron joined us for some mugging & grilling. They live in Northern California, and Dash hadn't ever met them before. But it was a great, glorious and instant love between them (and not just because they managed to bring him the two greatest gifts known to mankind: Batman jammies WITH DETACHABLE CAPE and a Buzz Lightyear bubble raygun).

Here he is in above-referenced MOST AWESOME JAMMIES EVER, playing some crazy version of hockey/baseball/soccer/bender/glover with his enduringly patient and kind Aunty Cheryl.

Now I hesitate to even post these pictures because it just seems like bragging, but whatevs. Some people are rich. Other people are lucky enough to know people with rich relatives. We're the latter. Doron & Cheryl invited us to spend Saturday afternoon at Cheryl's sister's house, where they were dog sitting. This is the view from the pool. Right?

This is the front door (with tile medallion created by Cheryl!). I made Dash stand there for scale. From 1-10, how classy is it that I wandered around that house taking pictures of all the fancy? Seriously, I=bumpkin.

Do you like how the chairs coordinate with the umbrellas in the background?

Here is Dash expressing his contentment with the pool situation.

Oh, this? Nothing, just the wine cellar. That Cheryl's brother-in-law built. From scratch. I don't even want to tell you how good it smelled in there. Or about the little dishes filled with assorted packets of good, dark chocolate. That we didn't eat. Except for maybe Dash. And his mom. And maybe his dad. OK, fine, we ate them. But at least we left the wine alone.

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I know you guys are all, Liz, ok, we get it. Best. Vacation. Ever. Stop rubbing it in. But I can't. I just need to add the bbq on Saturday night that Cheryl & Doron threw for us at their beautiful home. That was filled with teensy little rescued kittens and old, old friends and new. With bocce ball (Dash whooped us all, one by one) and Champagne and amazing food & wine. And the evening ended with some chairs around a fire, and some seriously accomplished musicians (there was a mandolin, yo) playing and singing beautiful songs. (Including a made-up version of Ripple that they indulged my drunk ass with even though no one knew the words).

So, in conclusion:


Omar's Cross-Processing Photo Effect

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Night II: The Quickening

Dudes. I am tired. This weekend we made brunch for the grandmas on Saturday morning, hosted Movie Night 2: Die Harder on Saturday night and then had our Mother's Day picnic on Sunday morning. We leave for Russian River tomorrow morning. It's enough to make even the most fun-lovingest family cry "uncle."

But I'm not here to complain. I'm here to show off my mad Movie Night skillz.

Our movie this year was the Iron Giant which was an awesome choice because GIANT ROBOT.

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Here are some of our attractive guests (we had about 50 total because we have no sense of proportion). We just covered the entire backyard with quilts and blankets and pillows and let people spread out as they saw fit.

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Here are some more lovely people. Please note the little red bucket filled with glow sticks in the bottom left corner of this photo. They were in the $1 bin at Target so I loaded up thinking the kids would enjoy them. What I'm doing here is called "foreshadowing."

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Here is a picture of the beautiful and kind Meredith who deserves better than to have a picture of her with her mouth full posted on the Interwebs, but it's the only picture I have of the food set up. (Forgive me, Meredith! Promise you'll come back again!) Anyway, we did popcorn & chips with the fake nacho cheese kept warm in a fondue pot because I am nothing if not two things: resourceful and high-brow. Josh also grilled Dodger dogs and the kids were presented with an embarrassment of candy options (Red Vines, mini-candy bars, Skittles, M&Ms...you feel me). And, for the grown-ups, a huge selection of beer & wine because there were, like, 25 kids there and that's a lot to deal with sober.

I didn't get a picture of the cupcakes (chocolate, vanilla & red velvet) at the party, but here is a deeply arty one Josh took of the leftovers. The picks are images I found online, printed onto card stock & taped onto toothpicks.

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Here you can see the screen set-up. Josh tacked two vinyl shower curtains up under the eaves and wrapped some PVC pipe in the bottom with duct tape. Really worked well and was totally stable. Nice work, Zaz!

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Aaaaand here we are about 30 minutes into the movie. All we needed was some techno and we would have been a full-on rave. It descended into pure glow stick anarchy. I'm still finding spent sticks and little connectors all over the house.

So there we have it. Another incredible Movie Night under our belts. This is really my favorite new tradition. Maybe next year we'll set aside an entire weekend to pull this one off, though, instead of trying to cram it into an already crazytown weekend.

Thanks, friends, for all the laughs! Can't wait to do it again!


Extree, Extree: I didn't get into as much detail about everything this year as I did last, but you can check out that post for more. Here's some supplementary info:

We did these popcorn bags from HEY YO YO, who I use for nearly all of my cupcake/party craziness. Highly recommend!

We did paper food trays (here, but we got ours from Smart & Final.) These are great for eating on a blanket and also are perfect for corralling nacho cheese and Skittles (hopefully not at the same time). Smart & Final is also where we get our Dodger Dogs, aka the world's tastiest dog.

And, in order to avoid another visit from the fuzz, we plastered the 'hood with these fliers (click to embiggen if you'd like to bite the verbiage):

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


AND this was waiting for me, all framed & matted, Sunday morning:

The bottom pic is Dash posing with all the assorted crap I've made him over the years. They indulge me.

Both husband & child=geniuses.

Mother's Day 2010

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I've been having a little bit of a hard time thinking about what to say here regarding Mother's Day, and being a mother in general. I want to say that it's a privilege, and it is (especially for those of us who come by motherhood only because of the marvels of science and the generosity of friends and family), but that doesn't quite nail it.

It's more like being a mother is giving me a second chance at my own childhood. Is this true for everyone? That we work hard to shape the childhoods of our children to resemble the idealized version of our own? I don't know. What I do know is that being married to Josh and raising Dash and being surrounded by the friends and family that we have is truly the greatest blessing imaginable.

On Sunday we did our annual Mother's Day picnic at LACMA. This year we were lucky enough to corral some of our nearest and dearest as well. We ate too much cured meat and imported cheese (and drank just the perfect amount of wine, obvs). Played a little baseball. Climbed a giant bear statue. You know. Had the perfect day.

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Thinking about starting a motorcycle gang.

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This squirrel was also having the best Mother's Day ever, courtesy the squirrel-crazy Mooma who kept feeding him grapes & apple slices

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Monday, May 03, 2010


Here are two cute things I made:

(the blanket, not the baby)

(I did make this baby, though. I am not deterred from calling him a baby by the personalized Kings jersey.)