Tuesday, June 29, 2010
When Colin turned six I had his birthday party at the bowling alley. We invited his whole class because I didn't want to exclude anyone- I didn't want Colin to start compartmentalizing his classmates into friend and non-friend categories. Five years old just seemed to young to have a good grasp of who was your friend and who wasn't.
We had about 11 kids show up, and I had rented 2 lanes at the alley plus pizza and cake. The cost for that was $150 for the bowling/pizza, $20 for cake, and another $25 or so for treat bags to give each kid. So around $200 for the damn party. And let's not forget the money spent on presents.
When Colin turned seven I tried to do a cheaper party. We went to a local pizza place where parties could rent out a private room for no charge. We just had to buy pizza. That was about $60 for pizza, $20 for cake, $30 for quarters to play the video games, $30 for decorations, $30 for treat bags. I invited the whole class again- I'm not sure why. We had about eight kids at that party, so it could have been worse. But again, I spent about $170. Plus presents.
This year for his eighth birthday, I was determined to do something fun, but cost-effective. I was thinking a matinee movie, but it turns out the mall theatre party would have been a package deal costing about $200 when all was added up. No deal! Instead I found a small, old-fashioned movie theatre in downtown Edmonds (website here). Each kid's ticket was $6 and included a small popcorn. Now we were talking. Across the street from the theatre was a place called Edmonds Bakery. Perfect. We would meet there, grab a piece of cake or whatever they were baking, walk across the street, see the movie, and then have parents pick up their kids when the movie was over.
We had four kids plus Colin turn out (after inviting a modest six - no more whole class B.S.). The only mishap was when the bakery turned out not to be open. I had to improvise. We went around the corner to Starbucks instead. Hot chocolates subbed for cake. Presents were opened, shoved in the car, and then we were off to the theatre. Five kids to see "Toy Story 3" including popcorn was a mere $30. We watched the movie, walked out the front door, and hooray! All the parents were waiting for pick-up. Bye, kids!
That was by far the easiest, most relaxed (for me), best birthday party ever. And pretty darn cheap. $30 for the movie tickets, about $10 for hot chocolates, and about $10 for smuggled candy I passed out after we sat down. And instead of treat bags I gave each kid a foam visor with foam letters that spelled their names. This served as both a treat for the kids, and a way for me to visually ID each kid I was in charge of. And they were only 66 cents (I already had a supply of foam letters on hand)! Total party cost, about $55. Not bad.
I've been feeling pretty pleased with myself over this cheap-o kids party. I foresee many future birthdays for both kids at the Edmonds Theatre. Except next time, I'll double check the whole bakery thing.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I can't believe it's been eight years. Eight years since I was in the hospital being prepped for a c-section after 42 hours of grueling, painful child labor (turns out he was backwards).
Eight years since I spent the day pacing the hospital hallways in the vain hopes of progressing my labor. My mom loves to remind me that during one of these slow, shuffling hallway walks, I turned to her and said, "This better be worth it".
Eight years of laughing, crying, not sleeping, playing, worrying, and loving so much you'd think your heart would break.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I had kind of always assumed she and I would be together our whole lives. And yes, I have other, very close, very dear, friends that I know I will be sitting on the lanai, eating cheesecake with in the future, and I love them (You know who you are). I just can't help but mourn the future without her. She would have been an awesome old lady, you know?
Evil Shana and Evil Leigh, drawn by Shana circa 1993
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This photo is unrelated, but Oscar and Archie just got haircuts, and they look so cute.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
In case any of you forgot, or haven't been privy to my yearly stories of blood-thirsty cross stitch competitions, in these past few years I've been competing for ribbons in the needle arts category at the Evergreen State Fair.
My deadline for entering this year is August 13th. And I'm going to need every spare minute I can find every day from now until then to finish my entry.
This year's entry is a full-scale sized replica of a Monopoly game board. It's stitched on 18 count aida cloth. If you don't know what that means, it means I'm working on a very tiny-sized weave surface. It is not easy on the eyes.
I'm almost half finished with the game squares.
While I'm in my mad stitching mode, my blogging may take a back seat. If I don't update as often, it's because I'm bent over my fabric, painstakingly drawing threads though the correct areas in order to replicate a pattern.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Course 1: Grilled local spot prawn with housemade miso, sansho leaf and salad burnett; plumped Lopez Island oyster with nori puree, borage and pickled shallot scrape; torched albacore tuna on its tartare with crushed black sesame and Oregon wasabi
Course 2: Tarragon and morel stuffed galantine of Bernie Nash's spring chicken with cured mother hen yolk, wood-roasted radishes, pea shoots, and a basilwood smoked chicken nage (paired with Amaurice Chardonnay, Columbia Valley)
Course 4: Slow roasted Washington coastal king salmon with wood-roasted boletes, new spinach with cream fraiche, little farm onions, chervil, and a boletus mushroom-new garlic sauce (paired with Westrey pinot nior, Dundee Hills, Oregon)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Surprisingly, I've had visits from all over the globe (see the additional dot map also below). But the most surprising thing of all, is that 95% of these international visitors arrived to the page I composed about hairy men who swim at the 24 Hour Fitness pool. And they weren't searching for the hairy man text, but for the google image results looking for hairy men photos.
My conclusion? The international community loves hairy man photos.
So, to welcome any new blog viewers from around the world, I present this compilation of hairy man photos:
There isn't enough vodka in the world...
Last year I cleaned out all the rock beds in the backyard, removed any weeds and debris (power washers are awesome) and made them all shiny and beautiful. Today they are covered with dirt layers and have a garden of weeds growing through.
I swear these were neat and pretty last year
The year before that my brain dreamed up a big plan of how I could tear out some ugly bushes on the side of the house and build my own little raised vegetable garden. That one never happened (But I'm still back burnering it).
Some day, ugly bushes...
This year my kick is strawberries. I wanted to try growing my own strawberries. I bought the pots and the plant starts, and now my beautiful plants are growing out on the patio.
Many of my past years' dahlias and zinnias have been destroyed by slugs, but these strawberry pots are on raised tables, out of slug range.
I hate slugs.
Of course, the damn birds or squirrels will probably get them instead.
But look, my strawberries are already turning out to be immature like me!