Thursday, November 30, 2006

On the first day of Christmas. . .

SO, I found a fabulous idea for Christmas time here at Tales from the Crib. I'd love to do a 12 days of Christmas and have the kids open a book each night to read. (Although I may end up with the 100 days of Christmas will all the fabulous books out there!) I also think it would be a fun idea for gift giving. . .deliver 12 wrapped books to a family and have them pass the books on the next year.

I'm enlisting your help. . .tell me your favorite book(s) for Christmas time reading with the kiddos.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Want some?

This is one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving. When I was young, about 4-5 families (including Oh Judy's) would all gather up at our friends the Stevensons in Omaha. We all brought our assigned food and drove up to their huge house to hang out for the day. And holy cow, the FOOD!! I remember Oh Judy's mom's rolls, and our friend Cimony's mom's homemade pies. (We always managed to snitch some LONG before dinner). The best part was we were always together about 2 hours before dinner so we would run around, play games, play on their piano, listen to the christmas music, and SNACK. My mom was always in charge of the relish tray. Now this is no ordinary, store-bought relish tray. It's the real deal. She definitely always made 2, because certainly one was gone before dinner even was served. I've tried the last few years to make one, and make things feel like home, but I know I still can't live up to hers. I try. Here's a sampling of what you get on Jill's famous relish tray.

olives (black and green) --I'm not a fan of the green except on pizza, so it's just black for me.
marinated artichoke hearts
baby corn
dill pickle spears (Matt likes the baby dills because they are more crunchy)
sweet pickles (These have to stay in the jar, lest they be mixed up with the dills. ..ewh. . .and I really can't be a MAR and like sweet pickles. . .so it's just for Matt's aunt that actually likes them)

Not only all this but it is carefully displayed and balanced and there is certainly an order when creating such a masterpiece. Fresh greens on the tray then carrots and celery round about. Broccoli, and cauliflower toward the center. Pickles carefully laid to rest amongst the carrots/celery (some snuck underneath for a surprise find). Cucumbers and olives delicately nudged in with the broccoli and cauliflower. Just enough artichoke hearts and baby corn to those that are smart enough to grab them. And pearched in the middle is a fantastic crystal bowl containing the best Hidden Valley Ranch dip known to man!!!

***DANG it! I gotta go, I nearly burnt my first set of rolls because I was blogging!!!!! (Poor rolls, death by blogging. . .I guess I better eat all of those right now!!) Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


No, I'm not making fun of Matt's chinese heritage in the title there. . . (come on, at least a courtesy laugh please. . .he he)

It's Whitney. Maybe we should have named her Mystery. This poor little allergy prone kiddo. First it was the MSPI, eczema, nasty colds/stuffy all the time gunk.

So, about 3 weeks ago, I take her in (you know the routine. . .she's a nightmare, not sleeping, please tell me something is wrong that you can fix. . .nada. . .strep test, neg.) A week or so ago, she wakes up (after being Mrs. Crabapple for about a month) with red, rashy, itchy feet. Turns out it's Coxsackie. . .aka Hand, Foot, Mouth. Alrighty, the older two had that, no problem. Until, last Saturday. . These pictures actually aren't so bad. . .they were REALLY bad earlier.

Honestly, she was fine one minute, and the next time I saw her she had hives. I swear.
"What DID SHE EAT?????" What the heck did she get into? Was it the nasty, wet leaves we were trying to rake outside? Did she get into the treat that Madison created??
A lovely "Turkey" plateful of peanut butter decorated with mini m&ms and butterscotch chips

Finally, I called the nurse to see if they wanted to see her. . .if it was related to the Hand/foot/mouth stuff, do I need to take her to the ER? After all that, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "whatever." Not really, to the nurse I didn't, but to myself I did.

I have given up on trying to play the "What's wrong with the baby" game. I drive myself insane trying to do that. We kept her home from church on Sunday. Not because she was crabby, just because she looked so awful. I'm sure parents would have been snatching their kids from her presence and running for the hills.

Monday came, still a total rash, so off to the Dr. we went. Strep test. . .neg, proabably just a virus related rash that could go on and off for 2 WEEKS!!! Great.
So today a call. . .Oh, we sent off that other strep test to test for the rare types. . .yep, positive.

But don't worry, it didn't keep her from gettin' her groove on "Rashdance" style. What a feelin'.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How many times do we have to wear these things Mom??

Here's my little chicken! She was adorable (if I do say so myself), she also had a hat but usually ripped it right off! She has it on in the pictures below. The feet were my favorite. Just ignore the fact that it looks as though one is giving you "the bird" right now. By the third time she had to put this on she was finally used to it (Family dinner, Boo at the Zoo, and Trunk or Treat).

Hi cutie girls!! (This was the night we went to our Mar Family Monster Mash)
Here's my future Shirette (high school dance team) in action. Yes, that is my outfit. Yes, I used to be that small (I took it in a little), and no, I'll never be that size again. So many people looked at me in shock and said "that was YOUR uniform?" Yes, thanks.
Work it, Ariel, work it.
Here we are at the ward Trunk or Treat. I was the tooth fairy (I handed out toothpaste). Don't worry I handed out the best candy WITH the toothpaste! (I'm not that lame! The kids were actually excited to get the toothpaste!) Matt and some guys from work dressed up as another guy from work (always a tie and a sweater vest). I had to put this picture in so you could see the eyes from our car. (Apparently Matt thinks something funny is on the ground) The car was Matt's idea last year--I think it looks great. Next year we're going to drape the back of the car and do dry ice. OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Friday, November 03, 2006

MOVE THAT BUS (again!)

(to be read in a voice like the guy that does all the movie trailers. . .)
When we last left her, our heroine was saddened over the news that she would not be able to attend the unveiling of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition home. She longed to yell "Move that Bus!" But, wait, what's this?
Da da da DA!!!
It's SuperHusband!!

Yes, it's true! I was supposed to watch my neighbors kids Friday afternoon, but that morning Whitney awoke with a rash (coxsackie. . .foot/mouth. . .etc. . .no fun. . .really mad. . .no sleep. ..) So the neighbors kids weren't coming and I was heading to the Drs office after lunch. Matt called about 11 and said. . .
"Well, I was thinking. . .I have some personal time (PT) time I can take if you wanted to go see them give the house away."
"Oh, it's ok, honey."
"No, really, if you want to go I'd be willing to come home."
"Well, (I'm getting a little excited now) if I WERE, hypothetically, to go, I would probably need to be there a little early so you would probably need to take Whitney to her appointment too."
"That's fine. Just tell me if you want to go."
"Well, of COURSE, I want to go!"

So, Madison decided she wanted to come with me, Molly opted to stay with Dad (I figured we'd be really far back since we would probably get there about an hour before the big moment). We skipped taking the shuttle bus from a big convention center parking lot and tried our chance to just park close enough and walk. We were only about 4 blocks away. As we rounded the corner to go toward the house this pulled up by us. . .
Oh, NO! It's them, we're going to miss it! Little did I know how S L O W these TV "reality" production shows take. This was actually the "practice limo". So we got down to the street. It wasn't as crowded as I thought it might be and we had an ok view of at least the street where the action was going to be goin' down. Madison was excited. We got to a spot right in front of a bush with no one in front of it so we kind of had an open view. If you squint a little you can see the dark top of the bus parked in front of the house. Oh, wait, let me Zoom in for you So, while we were waiting and waiting, some lady on the other side of the street wasn't feeling to well so the fire truck and ambulance arrived. . . .honestly, what some people won't do right? I'm happy to report that she was fine and the ambulance promptly took her away. . .ok, let's get on with it! John was the schmoozer of the designers. He was always trying to act like he was SUPER busy but kept hanging out by all the fans. Including this little one in front of us that had her little lamb/bear signed. All I had in my pocket was a Martha Stewart paint chip sample card, so we had it signed too. Madison wants to take it to school! While we were patiently being so good, one of the guys from the production team came over and said in his megaphone. . ."I need you to work with me and I need you to listen! I'm going to take a small group of you over to the other side. . ." Yippee! That meant us, so we got over where the volunteers and VIP's were and holy cow look who we saw when we got there!!! Yep, that's him. We were so excited we got a prime spot. We were right next to the street on the next door neighbors property!!! Madison was making fun of me because I kept snapping pictures of Ty. Hey, I had no idea how they were going to turn out so I just kept taking them!!
Oh, here's a better view of the house. I'm still not in love with the blue trim but it's certainly a nice home. The front of the house has kind of a wood lattice effect where the normal brown is on the rest of the house. Yep, still snapping away.Oh, look who it is. . . . These ladies next to me wanted their daughters hats signed. With the leopard print you could hardly even tell.Here's all the people that we mad that we got over to the "other side"! Suckers.After a lot of waiting and waiting. . .they brought out the big crane camera and did the overhead shots of the crowd. I think we were all screaming and yelling for like 15 minutes. It was funny to see the crew members going crazy up and down the street trying to keep people goin'. We knew it was close when the design team came out. Here is Tracy and Paul (and one of their makeup/hair/clothes people cleaning up Paul (with Tracy's help). She was grooming him just like a chimpanzee! The sweatshirt, the hair, I half expected her to lick her thumb and wipe a smudge off his face. It was kind of cute though. I like Pauli. Here's Paul giving a little squeeze.Tracy looked great and I LOVED her leather boots. They were fab.Here's the whole team, Preston, John, Paul and Tracy.I didn't realize that what Ty says to the family is scripted. I guess I figured it was, kind of, so here he is reviewing his lines. . .Here's Ty waving the limo in. . .after I took this picture I realized that the camera was aimed right at us so I better get yellin', and wavin' and actin' crazy so you can see me on TV! Madison had a light blue coat on so look for us!!

Here's the family arriving
They headed straight for their family/friends that we right next to the limo. . .did you notice the neighbors up on their roof??A big wave to the crowd! A chat with the fam and just how many times do we need to tape "Move that bus." Well, for the record I think it was at LEAST 25 times, in every direction possible! I'm "MOVE THAT BUS"ed out!This was about 10 minutes of chattiness, and the anticipation was killing all of us!!
One more big group hug. . .
"MOVE THAT BUS!!" It was priceless. . .and just like you see on TV. We all were bawling like babies. It took a couple of minutes before the mom and girls could get up off the street and the boys kept running all around, it was great.
Welcome Home Mahacek family, Welcome Home!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006



Extreme Makeover Home Edition is in town!! Being the reality-tv, (OK, ALL TV) junkie that I am, we had to check it out!

I was a little bummed about the family they chose. . .there are certainly others in more need, including the one I submitted to the show. I had posted about them here. But, oh, well, it's exciting anyway. It's a "brady bunch" type of story. They went to the same high school but didn't know each other, both got married, then divorced, then they met, want to get married, but don't have enough room in either place for everyone (5 kids all together), and the foundation at his house was falling apart, which made it tough to sell to get a different one. You can read more about the progress and about the family here, including their travel blog where today I just read that the show surprised them with a wedding in Paris! Ring, dress, yacht on the Seine, wedding in front of the Eiffel Tower, etc. . .sorry I ruined the big moment in the show but hey, that's what you get when you're in the "know!" They did the wake up call thing on last Friday morning and the tear down was Sunday. Sunday would've been the day to go to make sure and see Ty and all the designers but I guess I should go to church. . .and it was right during our meetings. . .dang it.
So, today I loaded up the kids (schools out. .) and went over. The home is located in the Havelock (historic) district of town. Neat little area. Old, but neat. I wondered how they would do this there, but it's looking pretty good. It was tough to get a good look at the house. It's in the middle of a block and they had it barracaded on the side streets. We were only a couple of rows back from the fencing. I overheard someone saying how the show offers the neighbors a hotel and a daily $1000 or so, to use their property, yard, etc. One house directly across they were using for the VIP's. Hey if it was my house, I'd stay there and get in on all the action (although it would be a little crazy, and noisy!) In this picture it's the third one in that they're working on. The lots are small, so they won't have much of a yard. They were going for a "Tudor" style of home. I'm not sure if these are classic colors for a Tudor, but I was left wondering where the designers were when they picked it out. It's a dark chocolate brown with royal blue (more bright blue than the picture shows) trim/accents, then a light color rock for the front pillars. I'm sure it'll look better all finished and on TV.
It was pretty exciting to see it all happening, we hung out over by the production trailers in hopes of seeing anyone.

The first person we recognized was John Littlefield, he's one of the newest designers. He stopped and signed a couple of autographs then headed up to the house.

We saw Preston too. He was in a hurry and we just caught him from behind. I promise that really is him!! Crazy, funky hair and all.
I'll let you know when the show will be on. . .I may sneak over tonight (they're supposed to be done around 9pm) to see when they hand over the keys! The word was that Ty was in Chicago Tuesday and Wednesday and he'd be back on Thursday, so maybe I'll catch a picture tonight!!