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Now we are Four.

Now we are Four.

A while back I was fretting over Baby Beez’ 4th birthday, not sure of how to celebrate it, or how big or how small, or if we pushed Baby Beez toward no party would she grow up resenting us for her party-free years? #1stWorldProblems

In the end, we decided to let her take the lead. If she asked for a party, she could have a party. If she didn’t ask, we’d just put together some special activities for her. Over the last month, whenever she talked about her birthday, the only thing she cared about was cake. Cake cake cake cake cake. I figured  that as long as we get her a cake, we’re golden. And it turns out, it all worked just fine.

Elsa and Anna Cake

We started Baby Beez’ birthday weekend off with a sleepover with her friend Elena. Because I was entertaining 4 year olds and not, say, me, this meant that I made a dinner of hot dogs and corn on the cob, and it was a HIT. Also, easy, and all things I had in the house already. We also enjoyed a very tasty birthday cake from Bella Christies. Elsa and Anna = big hit.

Birthday Cake

Elsa and Anna Cake

Elsa and Anna Cake

After cake, of course, we watched Frozen. The girls sang along and acted out the whole movie. I had to negotiate a couple of disputes, such as advising them that they can BOTH be Elsa, and everything will still be OK.

After the movie, because birthdays mean sugar sugar sugar sugar, we made ice cream sundaes. The girls had fun with the arts and crafts aspects of putting them together, but they apparently aren’t as insane-in-the-brain over ice cream sundaes as I am, because they ate a few bites and declared they were done. Because they are reasonable, healthy children. And I am a sugar-crazed lunatic.

ice Cream

ice cream

Ice Cream

A 4 year old sleepover is much different than a teenager sleepover, because once I bundled these two up and read them a story, the were out. They did wake up at 5am, scared from the thunderstorm, but I put Disney Jr on for them and dozed back off on the couch. This morning was full of chocolate chip pancakes. All things good.

We planned to continue Baby Beez’ birthday weekend with a trip to the Renaissance Faire, but it was rainy and gross out today. This would have meant trudging through the mud, and getting soggy and miserable, so we ditched that plan. Instead we took her to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 at the movies and afterward, came back to the house for leisurely afternoon naps. Such a birthday win.

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You remind me of the babe

On Wednesday we had a mid-week outing to the movies. In our days before Baby Beez, this was not an unusual occurrence. Mr. Beez and I love the movies, and many of the local theaters run midweek specials (free popcorn Mondays, etc). At one point, I had all the specials memorized, and could tell you what the best option would be any day of the week. Throwing a kid into the mix makes midweek movies very difficult. Not just because we have to uphold a responsible bedtime, but also because there is just so much more STUFF you have to do with a kid around, that two free hours for a spontaneous movie is difficult to find.

The AMC Lowes Waterfront has started running older movies on Wednesday nights. When we saw that Labyrinth would be playing, Mr. Beez declared that we MUST GO. I’m the one usually leveling demands around here, so when he makes a declaration, we must abide.

Labyrinth

The theater was PACKED. We got there a few minutes before showtime, and the only seats left were in the front row. That’s not my ideal location, but the rest of the fam was fine with it. The movie of course was great, because it’s Labyrinth. What’s not to like about Labyrinth? I worried that Baby Beez might get a little scared of all the goblins, but she didn’t. Not in the least. In fact, I think she wanted to party with Jareth and the goblins up in the tower. (Also, can you imagine how bizarre-funny-crazy filming that scene would have been? It’s megarockstar David Bowie dancing around in tight pance with muppets and a baby. So strange.)

baby wormLabyrinth Worm

Baby Beez has had a connection with Labyrinth since birth, can’t you see the resemblance?

We all had such a fun time, but the best feeling of all was being able to share something Mr. Beez and I have long loved with Baby Beez, and watch her find just as much joy in it.

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!


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Hello, Sunday

Hello, Sunday

Today I took a nap, cleaned up the house, read a couple magazines and did laundry. It’s almost like I’m a normal person! Usually Sunday is full of running around and work and all the normal things that normal people do to get ready for the week get shoved to the side and forgotten. I did need to do a lot of work today, but I hit a wall, because there were things around the house that needed to be done, or I would completely lose my mind. So I took care of things around the house, and as a result I’m going to pay for it this week with having to be more focused, more efficient and working even longer days, but it is what it is.

My once-a-week crock pot cooking has been a success. We’ve been trying lots of new recipes, and not only is it super easy to throw a meal in the crock pot, but I also end up making enough food to feed us for at least two meals. This means healthier meals and less money on take out, with minimum time and energy investment.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Two weeks ago I tried 365 Days of Slow Cooking’s Lemon Chicken Orzo soup recipe and it was just lovely. It is a warm and comforting winter meal, but not so heavy as a chunky soup. I ended up eating several bowls of it for one dinner, whoops! It’ll last a bit longer if you don’t strap on the feedbag like I did.

This week I made Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast, and it is an instant favorite.  It is SO incredibly easy and SO incredibly delicious. We were so hungry that we ate the whole thing up before I even remembered to take a picture, but there are plenty of gorgeous pictures over at Skinnytaste’s site, so you should check them out.

Last night, Mr. Beez and I had a date night where we went to an early play, went out to dinner and then went to the movies. I let him pick the movie, since I pretty much pick everything all the time. He picked Gravity. I was not interested in it to begin with, but it was pretty good. It has tones of tension and the outer space imagery is all beautiful. We saw it in 3D and I expected to pretty much be horribly motion sick the whole time, but ended up being OK. I ended up liking it a lot, and it re-confirmed that I absolutely have no interest in traveling to outer space. Ever.

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31 Before 31: Movie Marathon. LOTR!!

On October 13 we had our MOVIE MARATHON! I had a WW meeting in the morning, and then I stopped at Market District to pick up a pint of Jeni’s Splendid Whiskey and Pecan’s Ice Cream, and admittedly got distracted by the amazing beer and wine selection they have accumulated, and also got stuck wandering around the cheese fridge, and managed to lose an hour in glazed-over wonder, because as much as I hated Market District when it first opened, they have stepped up their game and really are developing a selection of very nice things.

So anyway, by 11am, it was finally time to begin our movies. And more important than the movie watching, we ate like Hobbitses! I did a little internet research on appropriate LOTR menus, and persons more ambitious (and with more free time) than myself have developed truly ambitious menus. I, however, went with the approach of buying a ton of food that looks tasty, and then just eating all darn day long.

Our first dish of the day was spinach and cheese foccacia from Colangelo’s.  Foccacia doesn’t have any special tie to LOTR, other than hobbits like to eat a lot of bread. Really, we picked it up because Baby Beez had her ballet class in the Strip District on Saturday morning and I whined to Mr. Beez that he haaaaad to drop me off to pick up something tasty from the bakery. And foccacia looked the tastiest. So there we are.


Next up was lembas and leetle feeshes. I can resist yucky stale swedish fish, but something about not-stale swedish fish, despite their potent cough-syrup taste and my better judgment, I just. can’t. stop. eating. them.  Same with the shortbread.  I can’t help myself. So I ate these things until I had a ridiculous bellyache.  Because I am ridiculous.

 
In the late afternoon we ordered take-out from Piper’s Pub. YES I know this looks totally, totally, totally gross. But it’s shepherd’s pie, and I do not have the magazine worthy food styling skills that are necessary to make shepherd’s pie look palatable. But it was hearty and tasty (not like after many hours of steady eating I needed anything hearty, but still, not complainin). Mr. Beez got the beef shepherd’s pie and ate it all before I got a bite, so I guess he liked it. I usually prefer the lamb & chestnut shepherd’s pie, but on this particular day they had elk on the menu, and I am entirely too exciteable when it comes to trying new things, so ELK IT WAS. It was quite the belly filler, exactly like a stew should be, but I do admit that the lamb shepherd’s pie has stronger flavors, which I prefer. Even though I like lamb better, the elk was no slouch.

And, no question, the most essential component of the LOTR marathon was the beer! I assembled quite a variety of seasonal beers (oh how I love pumpkin beer), and the selection complemented our day of endless eating quite well.

And yes, we have a 3 year old. We let her watch the movies with us. I do think the movies are violent and scary, but we talked with her the whole time they were on, and she had the full opportunity to go do other things that did not involve watching TV. On the whole, though, she asked a lot of pertinent questions and made interesting comments, and was only scared for a short bit during Fellowship of the Ring. So I think we did not scar her permanently.

We took a couple of breaks, and the entire marathon took until midnight to wrap up. I did laundry and worked on a brief and poked around on the internet a little bit while the moves were on. Mr. Beez said that in a “real” movie marathon, you sit and attentively watch all the movies. I, however, am unable to even attentively watch a 30 minute TV show, so I declared that he’d either have to tolerate my multitasking, or nothing resembling a movie marathon will happen ever. He ended up conceding that it was a pointless issue to argue with me.

I am so over-eager to fill my days with this, that and the other event and outing that I really enjoyed having a day designated for being homebound. It was neat to watch all the movies back to back. Mr. Beez and I discussed our favorite characters. Mine are Gollum and the Ents. I saw the animated version of the Hobbit when I was a little kid, and I was just fascinated by Gollum, and he has been my favorite ever since. The Ents are just so strange and interesting. I love them. Mr. Beez’ favorite is Galadriel. I’m guessing he just likes hot-tempered, bossy women.

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Thursday Mix: Things on my Brain Today

  • This week wins. As in it has demonstrated itself to be victorious over me.  I have been crazy, crazy tired. Not just sluggish, I’m talking bone tired. Can’t keep my eyes open tired. Physically falling asleep tired. Yesterday I got back from Erie at like 4pm and immediately fell asleep tired.  Then I remembered how many friends have newborns right now, and they are experiencing that kind of tired, except when I’m tired like that, I can hand my kid an iPad, stick her in her bed, and go take my own darn nap. So even though I’ve been tahred, I love my life, because napping is an actual possibility.
  • I saw Pitch Perfect not too long ago, and I kind of love it. It even made me love “Party in the USA.”  I wanted to hate this movie, but I just can’t, because it’s so fun.
  • I’ve figured out what Pinterest is useful for– It fills that “shopping spree” urge.  Like I get almost the exact same kind of satisfaction pinning all the things I want to buy, as I do from buying them (it’s the picking out process that’s so addicting for me, once the thing has arrived, the thrill is worn off).  Pinning is curbing my shopping appetite, which is very very helpful, given the aspirations of Mr. Beez and I of getting a house that actually has air conditioning in the next few years.
  • Baby Beez’s birthday is next week. She’ll be 3. What a big girl! We’re not doing a party this year, because she’s 3, and really doesn’t understand parties. But she’ll have a birthday cake, and we’re going on a little ride on the Gateway Clipper with the Orange Chair Blog family and Mr. Beez’ parents.  Baby Beez loves all kinds of methods of transportation, so I think a boat ride will be just the right kind of little celebration for her.
  • I’ve been a stupid stupid weekend warrior lately.  My anticipated training schedule (that I made myself) for the EQT 10 miler race in November was too much mileage, too fast. I ended up with terrible, crippling calf cramps.  And then I’ve stupidly persisted in these significantly longer runs on the weekends, that leave me essentially hobbled until Wednesday the following week.  I’m trying to be smart and train in a way that builds distance but doesn’t hurt me, so now I’m doing a mix of running and walking. Generally I walk 0.25 miles, run 0.75 miles, but I mix up that proportion depending on how I feel.  Given that I walked 7.5 miles last weekend alone, I’m confident that as long as I continue training with the goal of increasing distance, and am open to mixing up walking with running, I’ll be able to finish the 10 miles by November.  It may not be fast, it may be a lot of walking, but I’ll get across the finish line. I’d rather actually run the whole thing, but it is what it is, and I need to focus on being healthy, strong and not trying to push my body beyond what it can safely do.
  • I am simultaneously reading a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, world’s wost book (The Host by Stephanie Meyer) and an absolutely excellent book (The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling).  I have no idea why I’m continuing with the awful book.  I like the general idea behind the story, but it’s just awful writing, and I’ve come this far, I guess I kind of feel like I might as well finish it. Ugh it is so bad.
  • Holiday weekend coming up! What’s going on with yinz guys?