Monday, April 25, 2011

easter time 2011

It's safe to say, Easter was a big hit with Liam. He has committed "little bunny foo foo" and "here come's peter cottontail" to memory and sings them on heavy rotation (it's pretty cute... i tried to capture this on video - but he gets camera shy when the "flip" comes out) i need to learn "stealth videography"
Things around here have been really busy ever since we returned from London... two working parents and a busy two and a half year old, make for complete LAST MINUTE Easter prep. i literally was THAT mom... buying eggs on Saturday afternoon while he napped! I haven't bought regular white caged chicken eggs since last Easter... it was a little painful - but we decided to acheive the color saturation we wanted, we had to go white (i am very sorry to the chickens who laid these eggs in an 8.5x11 battery cage.. but thats a whole other topic)

i was so proud of liam who waited very patiently while the little tablets fizzed away in the white vinegar! he is so excited :)

Daddy was a great helper, and showed him how to use the "dippy thing" - which is a cumbersome task when your fingers are only two and a half years old.

he decided the "drop and plop" method was the way to go!

easter morning... after sunday school. the egg he is holding is the infamous "mud egg". when kurt and scott were kids, it was their tradition to pour all of the colors together for the very last egg, and make what they called the "mud egg" liam loved that.

This was taken while we skyped with gramma and grampa as well as great gran and gramp from oregon. this skateboarder and skateboard were in the basket from the oregon easter bunny an dhas been the biggest easter gift so far (i think he even likes it more than chocolate!)

a close up of the "mud egg" we used one of the ones that cracked in the "drop and plop" test... and it came out super cool - like a spider web.

can you tell i love this chocolate-faced kid. btw - my yellow dress was lovingly nick-named the "peep" dress by todd and kammy... i told them.. well, if there is one day a year to wear a "peep" dress, easter is THE day!

At brunch - a visit from his favorite.. rockie the clown! they had a major love affair last easter - he is featured on her website...this year he was a little nervous... check out the look on his face!

getting ready for the big easter egg hunt. he was such a big boy and collected a ton of eggs. he even shared with a little girl who was about a year old - it was the cutest thing ever!

and his favorite part of brunch.. of course the mini desserts. here is a strawberry angel food cupcake..mmmmm

truffle on a stick, i think i'll try that please.

i heart pretty desserts

can't make a decision? eat all three!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

skatelab and besties

I don't know what it is about San Diego, maybe there is something in the water - but the people who live there RULE. We had a GREAT Saturday night spent with our local pals Chris and Wendy... and bonus guests Tobi, Tanner, Bryce and Carly. The Tanners are one of our favorite families who we wish lived next door! We always have the best time when we are together. I met Tobi through work over 10 years ago (We all worked together... Kurt/Tobi/Wendy and I). It's so great we have remained friends over the years. The Tanners live in Point Loma...(San Diego)... which is lovely for them... they have a great street and awesome neighbors, and we haven't been able to sway them away to move to the Conejo Valley YET... it's a work in progress! They were in town for little Bryce's skate competition. He is just 6 years old, and is already a sponsored skateboarder... he pretty much shreds. He competed Saturday and Sunday. On his Saturday run, they asked him what his favorite song was... this completely cool kid answered "Welcome to the Jungle"... LOVE 6 year olds who dig a little GnR! Saturday night was a mellow dinner here at the house... We grilled a little chicken, had a little quinoa salad and a great local greens salad along w/ Wendy's famous bean dip... and of course some great wine. We had so much fun catching up... so did the kiddos.
I asked them to say CHEEEESE... they all did!

Pal-in around. Liam ADORES Miss Carly and idolizes Brycer. I thought it would be fun to take Liam to the skate competition this morning to see Bryce compete. The contest was at the Skatelab - and for a little boy - it was ridiculous sensory OVERLOAD. Imagine hundreds of skateboards, loud music, pads, helmets, and a sick indoor skatepark. Liam now wants to be a pro skater! I think he will be getting a skateboard very soon! Miss Carly took such good care of him at the event.
Bryce got some awesome awards and qualified for state. I think the Tanner family will be hitting the road a lot more with this one. (He is the one 2nd from the left - what a heartbreaker!)
Liam is BIG into skeletons... skulls and crossbones... and anything pirate - matey. He was obsessed with the skatelab wagon. He asked to get his picture by it. Look at how cute he and Carly posed together... I die.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

skulking about in London - part two...

Skulking about in London, Part two: Wednesday… our last day. We thought we would just skulk about a different hood with a pricier zip code (or whatever the UK equivalent of zip code is) so we took the underground up to Notting Hill where we ended up at The Churchill Arms. Guess what kind of food they served there… THAI! More on the restaurant later. But after our meal we ended up chatting w/ a guy who worked for the government but couldn’t really speak about what it was that he did (super sneaky) btw - i did tke a photo.. but thought, just MAYBE i should refrain from posting, in case he was REALLY important to the UK government.... Then we chatted up two locals (Simon and Gerry) who were hilarious. They had been pals for life and were just as enamored with us, as we were with them. That day we spent nearly three hours inside the pub.
Our new BFF's - Simon and Gerry!

How PERFECT is this pub? look at the guys sitting at the bar!
After that, we decided to take a walk to Hyde Park via Kensington Gardens – which is the street where all of the houses of embassy can be found. I didn’t know this street existed (the government spy told us about it). I was taking some photos when from a loudspeaker, I was cordially asked to “kindly put away my camera because photos are strictly prohibited on this street”. I didn’t know! We made our way to Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, through the middle of a Libyan Protest demonstration and through the neighborhood where I will be moving to (ok wishful thinking, but it’s a nice fantasy)!

Me... seconds before my camera was banished from this street!

My new street of residence in Londontown... moving announcement coming soon (j/k)

This is the backyard of my new street... no yard, I'm not complainin'... just sayin'

We walked and walked and walked and didn’t make our way back to the hotel until pretty late – just enough time to pop in, freshen up and grab some dinner. Bella Italia – for Italian. I got the special “pasta della mamma” because by now I was actually starting to think about the life I had left behind for a minute… and my job as a mom… which I did miss. Kurt had his fave – Carbonara… (he said mine was better… that’s my guy). After our dinner, we wanted just one more drink, and pretty much the only bar open late enough was our hotel bar. We weren’t that excited about it – but the payoff was huge. We met Daniel… master mixologist who talked our ear off for 2 hours and got us plenty pissed with some signature cocktails. I am not normally a hard liquor drinker, but he mixed me some heavenly coffee martini situation… and some drink with bourbon and chiles, garnished with currants… serious. Loved. Kurt had an “old fashioned” done the right way. This “mixology” profession is serious stuff, and they don’t mess around. Thursday morning came very early. Since I was incapable of packing the night before, I had to do it in the morning – along with showering and getting ready to catch a cab by 7:30 a.m. by which to make the 8:15 train at Paddington station. Yes… we were THAT couple, running through the station trying to make it to platform six to catch the Heathrow express. We made it… barely. The rest of the trip was spent in the AA lounge – then onto the 10 hour flight home. The flight home was a little different than the flight out. Instead of completely overindulging in wine and Tylenol PM… I caught three movies and slightly less wine. about 3pm LA time/ 11pm London time. He was SO happy to see us. He grabbed my face and just kept kissing me. I missed those baby kisses, and his sweet little smile. He had a great time at hom Mom, Dad and Lima bean met us at the airport where it was e with gramma and grumpa – they just loved on him and might have had as much fun as we did – in a different way. Need to detox…starting tomorrow!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

skulking about in londontown - part one.

Name this movie dialogue… So... Maybe we could just skulk around here for a bit and then go back down. That's a thought. I don't usually skulk, but I suppose I could skulk if skulking were required. Do you skulk regularly? No. No, I don't normally think of myself as a skulker but... . Well, why don't you come in and skulk for a while and we'll see? Give up? Ok – one of my favorite movies – Four Weddings and a Funeral skulk (sk lk) intr.v. skulked, skulk•ing, skulks 1. To lie in hiding, as out of cowardice or bad conscience; lurk. 2. To move about stealthily. 3. To evade work or obligation; shirk. In our case – definition #3 pretty much sums up how we spent our time while in London. We woke up when we wanted to. Most of our “breakfasts” were after 12:00 noon and included a pint or several pints at a local pub. We walked ... and walked and walked…. Without much plans about our destination, as long as there was a pub along the way – and well, being in London… there always was! I gained about 5 lbs – and thank goodness we walked so much, or it would have been more. The re-cap. Kurt was already in Switzerland for business, so we decided to just meet up in London. We arranged our flights to where we could just connect at the airport, then travel together to check into our hotel. The flight to London was perfect. When Kurt and I connected at the airport, we hopped on the tube to Paddington station and then took a cab ride to our hotel. From there, we freshened up (I had a bit of a Tylenol PM hangover from the flight) and headed out in search of an Indian restaurant called “Tamarind” (recommended to us by a good friend of mine who lived in London for years working in restaurants and baking pastries for the queen… seriously!). It was great (I think I will do an entire write up to review the restaurants we went to) On our walk back to the hotel, we wanted to see the Ritz Carlton (where a riot the day before had left the windows all boarded up!) and we wandered past some incredible chandaliers in a crazy art deco building that stopped me in my tracks... this ended up being The Wolesly restaurant (formerly the Wolesely car showroom) we ended up chatting w/ the door man for a long while – and subsequently ended up with a reservation for the following night. The next day (Monday) was a “shopping day” so – we skulked about some more as we ventured around our neighborhood (stopping at “The Roundhouse”) on the way to Piccadilly Circus to search for treasures. I was on a mission to procure some “royal wedding” kitsch for my friend MJ – this was a no-brainer.. in London, the royal wedding is a big deal, and Kate and Wills mugs were printed on EVERYTHING! Two notable stops: The Lamb and Flag (OLDEST pub in London) was awesome! We met some great locals (we kept running into lovely people who just loved to chat over a pint… or several!) Hope and Greenwood – the CUTEST confection shop you ever did see! I had to buy myself some tea towels and an apron for when I whip up bangers and mash – or some splendid confections at home. Dinner that night at the Wolseley was nothing short of spectacular – (again … restaurant review.. separate posting) After dinner we ended up at the Roundhouse again chatting up the best bartender in London (Dom) and found out that a reservation at the Wolseley is difficult to come by (lucky us). Aren't those chandaliers delicious??? Tuesday – “tourist” day. Kurt and I aren’t typical tourists. When we travel somewhere, we like to “blend in” (as much as possible with our giveaway American accents!) but, I really wanted to check out the London Eye, so he humored me and agreed to check it out. It was a typical London foggy day, but we were so glad we did this. It was a fun destination to walk across London Bridge, get to the waterfront to pick up tickets… quickly make our way AWAY from the waterfront in search of a … you guessed it – PUB. Which we found just three short blocks away. The Crown and Cushion was old and dusty and authentic and full of local blokes sipping pints mid day and chatting… and it served THAI food – Random (or so we thought) as it turns out… this is rather common. After a pint and some pad thai we headed to the London Eye. The line was just a short 15 or so minutes and the ride lasted about 35 minutes for one rotation. If you ever find yourself in London – don’t miss this attraction, the best views of all of London. I imagine you would see more and further on a clearer day, but something about the fog made it lovely. Tuesday night we had tickets to “Thriller” which was the only thing we had pre-booked before we left. We were running short on time, so instead of a big long dinner, we opted for some chips and a pint at the Coal Hole which was packed (after work crowd). We JUST made the show and got settled into our great seats just seconds before curtain call. This show was so much fun. They really got the crowd engaged - the music and dancing was spot on.
part two... to come.