Monday, November 24, 2008

The Boy in the Web

"Mom...  Can I be in a web?"  the curious three year old boy, Elliott, asked his mom one day as they were walking up the wooden steps towards their front door and past the railing where a friendly spider could almost always be seen spinning his sturdy little web.

As Elliott's mind wandered he started to think of all of the possibilities that would open up to him if only his home could be a spider's web:  sleeping outside under starry skies, wonderfully scary swing rides clinging to the web on blustery days, a built in trampoline...

And after those delightfully fun ideas flitted past, a few more ideas--considerably less desirable--found their way to the forefront of his imaginative little mind: Who would tuck me in at night?  Do spiders read bed time stories?  What would I eat for snacks?  What would happen if it rained? 

And then the very worst of ideas popped into little Elliott's mind and really started to worry him...  I wonder if I could get caught in a spider's web and rolled up for dinner...  He thought.  How would I get out?

Elliott was jolted back to reality just in time by his mother's soft voice as she reassured him by saying, "No, you are too big to be in a spider's web, Elliott.  You couldn't get in the web; you could put your hand in the web, but then you would just break it."

Oh!  Whew!  Well that settles it then...  But still...  What if I could be in a spider's web?  What fun I would have!

Photo complements of David Escalante

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I need visitors!

See what happens when you guys leave me alone for too long?  Maybe you should come visit me... 

Cryneriffic! from David Escalante on Vimeo.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Apartment Therapy Home Cure : Update

I promised you some updates on my home cure, but what with my traveling and all, I've been a little bit lackadaisical about posting updates.  Not to mention that I purposefully took pictures of my clean kitchen immediately after it was done...  just in case it didn't last long. I've been keeping it up, but its still hard to catch her on film during her best moments. And some of my 'after' photos are missing right now.  

So this will be a little hold-you-over.   This is what our children have been up to during "cure time."

Elliott & Caiden from David Escalante on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cryn Tips : Onions

Okay, I'm going to let you in on a little secret...  Here's a little trick that will change your relationship with onions forever.  All you need is a knife...

Check out this awesome tip from lifehacker that David found a while back.  Its amazing and so simple.  And it actually works.  No gimmicks, no wives' tales, just you, your knife, and your new-found knowledge.  You simply cut around the tear gas.  Yep, that's right.  Its the little booger in the center of the onion that washes all of that carefully placed makeup straight off of your face every time.  I've been using this nifty little trick for months now and it really works.  Except, of course, when I slip up and nick that nasty little mine field in the center.

You basically take the onion and place it root side up and cut a cone shape around the center of the onion and remove the middle piece you just cut out.  Click on the link for more details and...  Good luck!

The Fog is Rollin' In

I did hit some traffic on my way home today, as anticipated. I took
the Bay Bridge from Berkeley over to San Francisco. (I even parked
valet at Nordstrom so I could run in with the kids to exchange my
super cool shoes David got me for our anniversary for a different
size. It's a fun waste of money to valet. I had never really done
that on my own before, but I was under a time crunch.)

Anyway, I left the city just in time to be able watch the fog roll in
over the Golden Gate Bridge and tuck the city in for the night, all
cozy like...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Move That Bus!

Grrrr... I am trying to lug all of our extra baby gear all the way
down to Berkeley in order to resell it (hopefully). It's an hour away
and I want to be back before rush hour, but I can't even get off of my
own street due to construction. I've been sitting here for four
lights so far...

If I could develop into more of a planner, I wouldn't get myself into
these situations quite as often.

All of this is on a need to know basis, of course. Obviously this was
somethimg you really needed to know.

Funny Face

I was inspired by one of The Awesome Montgomerys' pictures to show you this sweet photo I snapped of Caiden with my iPhone.  Classic.

Post a crying face and lets see it...  tell us about it in the comments (it doesn't have to be a baby crying face either).

Psst!  If you have an iPhone, check out this free app for creating black and white photos with your phone: Vint B&W.

***update: nina49a and fortheloveofrice posted awesome cry baby faces on their blogs...  check it out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hispanic Soap Opera?

Elliott loves using my iPhone--especially to play games or watch cartoons on YouTube.   I search for whatever content he is asking for and then let him have free reign.  Well, lately Elliott has been choosing his cartoons in the Spanish version.  The weird thing, to me, is that he keeps watching them.  He gets further and further from our original search criteria, because on the first choice, he will choose the Spanish version and then from there he will choose something from the Spanish version's page which will also be in Spanish, and so on and so forth...  So there he is, lying (or is it laying?) on the floor with the iPhone and it sounds like some kind of weird Hispanic soap opera...  Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's For Dinner?

I don't know about you, but after endless weeks of making meal after meal, I start to get a little burnt out.  I need inspiration in order to keep going... "Please don't make me cook meat and potatoes again!" 

I always like to know what goes on in other peoples' kitchens; and I tend to ask a lot of questions when I'm watching someone cook before I realize that I sound snoopy or am questioning their abilities, but I am actually just really curious.  I love getting inspiration from seeing what other people cook up on a daily basis.  So if you are at all like me, then you might appreciate a gander at what I am cooking up this week.  I am listing my menu below (in no particular order).  What are you cookin'?  I am sure you can show me up.  I am not a very exotic cook!

1.  Zoe's Vegetable and Meat Lasagna which I found at Chocolate and Zucchini.  I'm using zucchini, eggplant, and sauteed spinach in my lasagna...

2.  Beef Stew : instead of beef stock or wine, I will be using a mixture of salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cloves, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and water suggested by this recipe.  Its really good!

3.  Chicken Tacos : with leftover chicken from the weekend served with pinto beans and this fresh tasting guacamole and salsa mexicana.

4.  Broccoli Beef and rice : excellent recipe!  Looks really simple...

5.  Penne Pasta with Chicken and Aspargus : This is one of David's favorite meals--light and savory.  (I love using Barilla Plus Pasta noodles.  They're whole grain noodles, but without the weird whole-wheat-freaky-texture.  You can't even really tell its whole grain.)

So there you have it...  As you can see, there are only five meals there, but even I am not perfect.  Hopefully there will be leftovers...  Although I can't say we ever eat leftovers for dinner, but maybe for lunch.

Oh, oh!  I forgot, I have one more meal planned out, to equal six!  Hooray!

6.  A Sunday Roast : (which is actually just a roast, but will hopefully be eaten on Sunday) with mashed potatoes, corn, and broccoli.

Verse of the Day

Do not lay up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and
rust destroy and where thieves break
in and steal; but lay up for your-
selves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust destroys and
where thieves do not break in and
steal.  For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cryn Tips : Baby Wipes

Cryn tips is a new feature in which I will be sharing little tips and tricks that I often use or think of regarding any sort of thing at all, but most likely concerning things at home or having to do with such things...  It should be fun!


Tip of the day:

Baby wipes--incredibly useful for household chores. 

Although maybe not the most environmentally friendly cleaning solution, I have found baby wipes to be a miracle cleaner.  They are amazing for getting all of those blackish finger and hand smudges off of painted surfaces such as walls and doors.  Just a quick rub down and those ugly marks that are usually impossible to remove with other cleaners just wipe off with relative ease with out smearing.  Even wiping down a white refrigerator that attracts dirt and grime can be easily accomplished using a baby wipe.  My friend also used baby wipes to remove an ink stain from her microfiber couch.  Of course, they are also extremely useful for a quick wipe down of a highchair or other surface.

Also I found this article revealing multiple uses for dried out baby wipes such as drawer fresheners and window washing wipes.

eHow actually has an article listing a number of really great baby wipe tips praising their abilities to remove crayon marks, coffee stains, and deodorant as well as reducing static electricity.  To see the full list, click here.

Have any other baby wipe tips to share?  Leave them in the comments below...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Long Absence Explained

Hello, Friends...  It has been quite a long time since I have spoken to you here.  I have been gone on a whirlwind voyage to be at the side of a very dear friend.  My high-school BFF has been suddenly asked to bear the tremendous burden of watching her usually healthy, active, middle-aged father become suddenly and dangerously ill by an unusually agressive and swift-moving strain of a terminal illness called amyloidosis.  Please keep her father, Skip, in your prayers.  Physically unable to undergo the treatment that would likely save his life, his liver is failing and his days numbered.  We are praying for a miracle.

Leaving Elliott behind with my in-laws, Caiden and I braved six hours of flying and freezing cold temperatures in beautiful Connecticut.  Although the reason for our journey could not have been worse, it was a sweet time of reunion with my old friend and her family as well as my own family.  A considerable amount of trees were still valiantly bearing their fiery burden of fall leaves and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

In the top photo you can see my friend, Liz, to the left of me, and her two sisters next to her, and on my right is another BFF from high-school, Erica.  The girls playing in the leaves are two of Liz's beautiful nieces, Delia and Elise (you might recognize them as Elliott's little pals in this photo from Liz's wedding in June).  The very bottom photos from left to right are: my dad and Caiden; my brother, Peter, and Caiden; my beautiful red roses, thoughtfully sent by David for our fifth wedding anniversary that transpired while I was away; and the beautiful view from Liz's amazing condo nestled in to the corner of a wonderful, old, brick building that was once a teacher's college (one of the first, actually).

Nevertheless, I have now returned and will be blogging with a vengeance to keep my friend, Lizzie, entertained and occupied while she endures endless hours at work...

See ya soon! (as Elliott would say)