Friday, March 23, 2012

That Mom

I know I've always been a little off the rails with the whole crafty-organic-handmade-is-always-better-mom business, but I felt I had drawn a pretty bright line between fun & crazy. On the wrong side of that line were things like diy deodorant, chicken keeping & homemade playdough.

Last night I made playdough.

And because crazy loves company, I'll tell you how to make it, too (ps: this shit is the bomb--smells yummy, is super soft & squishy & each batch makes enough for two or three containers full).

1 unsweetend Kool-Aid packet, whatever flavor floats your boat (this is mostly about smell & a little about color)
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar (easily found in the baking aisle in the supermarket)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

*Dissolve the Kool-Aid in the water.
*Dump all ingredients into a saucepan & stir to combine.
*Heat gently over medium, stirring constantly. (At this point, make sure you like your color. You can add a bit of food coloring if the Kool-Aid isn't bright enough.)
*Once the mixture comes together (it'll start to clump up & pull away from the sides of the pan), remove from heat.
*Once mixture is cooled enough to touch, dump it onto the counter & knead until it reaches playdough consistency--it'll start out super-sticky, but just keep kneading, it'll smooth out after a few minutes.
*Store finished dough in little plastic containers if you're fancy, or Ziplocs, if you're not. (I'm going to be giving some out in Easter baskets for our little friends, so I think I'll fill some plastic eggs with it.)


America, please allow me to introduce you to the newest (temporary) members of the Engel clan:

Stretch & Tiny. They're caterpillars that we've agreed to help usher into butterflydom. Eventually. Until then, we have a couple of hairy bugs on the mantle. And we named them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Ho Lordy, I have been sick. I mean sick.The kind of sick that lays you on your ass for three days straight. I am much improved now, but not well enough to compose an actual blog post. So what I have is a barely coherent recap of our weekend. Here:

On Friday night we were invited to our neighbor, the sweet Lucy Verlaque's, 9th birthday party. There was karaoke.

Josh & Dash dueted on "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas.

Sample lyric: 
I'm on the supersonic boom
Y'all hear the spaceship zoom
When, when I step inside the room
Them girls go ape-shit, uh

Fuck yeah parents of the year.

Then on Saturday it was Saint Patrick's day & we were joined by the Stein-Greenes & Verlaques for some corned beef & cabbage & rainbow cupcakes. Here are some people who were shocked & bewildered by my magical rainbow cupcakes. As they should be:

Also, cute and sleepy children on white couch alert:

And! In conclusion! Did you know that RIGHT NOW is the best time to see the Venus-Jupiter conjunction in the western sky? Well it is. Here's a picture of the sky from our house:
Informative, yes?

Josh has been trying to catch it on the telescope for three days now with no success. I'm saying tonight's the night.

Edited to add on 3/24/12:

There it is!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tri Tri Again

Josh's crazy person triathlons have turned into one of our very favorite family traditions. He swims, bikes, runs, we cheer & then everyone takes a nap and then we get steak. Win win win!

It finally dawned on me that this is apparently not a phase, (my first clue was when he started talking about doing an Ironman. Hold me.) so I did what I know how to do: I sewed team uniforms for Dash & me.

Untitled-1 copy
I am the manager & Dash is the sherpa (although as far as I can remember he couldn't be bothered to carry even his own jacket, so maybe next year he'll be the mascot).

So we woke up at some ungodly hour on Josh's birthday (which I forgot until I checked Facebook & saw all his real friends sending him love) and hit the road.

And while Josh did this...

Dash did this (note: see how Dash's mouth is orange in all of these pictures? That's from drinking so much Orange Crush on our vacation that his mouth was stained the entire weekend. PARENTING WIN!).

And I did this.

Here he is hitting his bike portion.

As we say in our family, run, dummy!

Dash made him that sign at home before we left.

Finish line

Oh, Dash needed a running shirt like his daddy's. Of course he did.

And then it was time to check Josh's stats. He had trained harder for this race than for any of the three previous ones. Oh nothing, just beat his next best time by three minutes.


And then, as always, it was time for some serious steak at the Hogs Breath.

And some birthday kisses.

And birthday wishes.

And, per tradition, birthday grimaces.

Forty One

The Mister turned 41 this weekend, so Dutch & I decided to pay him proper homage by showering him with 41 gifts.

We were on a budget, and Josh can be, um, challenging to shop for, so some of these items were a wee bit more inspired than others, but they were all presented with love and that's really all that matters. Right? Right?

Here's the list, in order:

1. Paper crown, made by me

2. A ribbon badge made by Dash
3. Near-impossible-to-find peanut butter malt balls
4. Bike clip bookmarks
5. A membership to USA Triathlon
6. Ron Swanson paper dolls

7. "Bad Ass" socks
8. A framed portrait of our family by Dash
9. A family crest made by me
Family Symbols: jackalope, running shoe, zombie, Angels logo; Family Motto: "Run, Dummy"

10. Cyber Clean
11.An emergency clown nose (for diffusing tantrums or just improving shitty days)
12. This USB car thingy
13. A "day off" coupon that relieves him from all husbandly & fatherly duties for one 24-hour period
14. A box of Moon Pies
15. A running shirt
16. A shaker of Bacon Salt
17. Becoming an Ironman (oy)
18. An origami box filled with five origami hearts (because 4+1=5), made by me
19. Weird black soap that seemed manly
20. A packet of Oreos limited edition birthday cake flavor cookies
21. Beastie Boys t-shirt
22. A Back to the Future DeLorean Hot Wheels car
23. Super-high SPF Chapstick for when he's training for his races
24. Sunglasses with flexible arms for his triathlons
25. A handmade card from Dash
26. Clif Bar Shot Bloks
27. Bananagrams
28. A flint striker because he's recently become obsessed with survival documentaries & I'm a little worried he might set out into the wild any day now
29. Bacon flavored popcorn
30. An 8-pack of gum because you've never met a man more concerned with fresh breath
31. Soft Chips Ahoy because they're his favorite & I never buy them for him
32. A hand-painted coffee mug by Dash
Why yes, that is a shark swimming in a pool of blood.

"To Dadey, Love Captin" 

33. Hair gum
34. That ESPN book
35. A box of Power Bars
36. A packet of gourmet cashews that Dash mostly ate
37. Running socks
38. A set of badges made by me featuring Josh's heros, Bear Grylls & Yuri Gagarin, plus a bike one 'cause he like bikes
39. Lucha Libre key covers
40. A Johnny Cash t-shirt
41. A book of Lego ideas

Happy birthday, Mr. Engel! The world has been a brighter place these last 41 years because of you.