Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Popcorn Tooth

Last week Alaina was eating popcorn and and told me that she had gotten a kernal stuck under the wire of her braces. So when I took two of the kids to the Dentist a few days later, I ran her into the Orthodontist to get it fixed. They were (luckily) short staffed and handed her some dental floss to try and get it out on her own. She couldn't reach it so I tried to help her and when I looked in her mouth, I didn't see anything except teeth. Then I realized that the "popcorn" she could see was her 12-year molar! How embarrassing! When we went back to see the kids at the dentist, I found out that the orthodontist office had called them and asked them to take a look. So, I told the dentist what I thought it was and he confirmed it. I guess I should have looked myself before bringing her in. Duh! Was that a bad mom moment?

First Day of School Traditions

We always go to out for ice cream after the first day of school. The kids pick Baskin Robbins because they have the best flavors, like rockin' pop swirl and pink bubblegum. I like the old standbys: pralines n' cream and chocolate n' peanut butter. I always ask the kids to tell me their 3 greats and today, on the first day of school, this is what they said:
Andy: ______ is in two classes.
I am buddies with ______ in math.
All of my teachers are excellent so far, although last year I thought ______ was sweet until she turned sour.
Alaina: How many times to I have to tell you, I don't have any greats?!! Do I look like I am 7?!!
Becca: I survived.
Home-ec looks like it's going to be fun.
I have classes with my friends.
Ryan: I like Mr. Allen.
I like the kids in my class.
We did name art.
After they tell me their greats, they can tell me a bad if they have one (the greats have to be first because sometimes they make the bad go away.)
Andy and Ryan didn't have bads, but Alaina and Becca did.
Becca: I got soup for lunch and the styrofoam tray broke while I was walking, so it spilled all over my friend. (that is a real bad...)
Alaina: My teachers are worse than last year. (I think she was just tired!)
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back To School

This year the kids seemed more ready to go back to school than usual. I wanted to park and walk Ryan in, but he calmly slipped out of the car and ran off to the playground, clearly needing no assistance from me. Then I took Andy to his first day of High School where an unhelpful person told us that because of funding cuts he wouldn't be able to have a 7th period, which essentially means he has early dismissal. When I asked if there was something we could do, she told us Andy could do community service with the extra hours. Like watering the little oak seedlings with the City Council in the open space wasn't enough. And helping friends pack for a move. And the 11 hours he spent in two days at Buena Vista Elementary and Grammercy House volunteering. Yes, he knows all about service and helping others...and now all he wants is an academic that too much to ask? Apparently so. I left and he still has 6 periods. Oh well. Cabo and I walked Alaina and Becca to Middle School, where Alaina immediately went off to find her friends and Becca went to her homeroom door to be ready and found some friends waiting their too. I debated going home to take a nap (haha), but did my visiting teaching (I love you, Emily) and did Room Parent stuff for IV, and ran errands, and was nearly late for pick up. Never enough hours.

New Blog Name?

Yesterday I was checking a few blogs when Ryan came in the room. He asked me who "Barnacle Butt" was and told him it was my great friend, Shelley (check her out...she is much more witty than I am.) Then he asked what ours was and when I said "California Bain Zoo", he said it was boring. I agreed and asked for a suggestion. His answer was, " 'Fat Belly' or 'Big Booty' ". I wasn't terribly flattered! I think I'll keep the zoo.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Most Requested Recipe: TWIX!!

This is my current most requested recipe and long overdue to be shared, so here goes:

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
(really like a Twix bar!)

For the Cookie Layer:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter (no substitutes), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the Caramel Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
For the Top:
8 ounces milk chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter sides of 9x13 pan. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and butter pieces. Pulse with knife blade, 10 times, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour into prepared pan and shake pan to distribute crumbles evenly. Press down lightly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

In heavy 3 quart saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Add sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Let mixture come to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently to prevent scorching. When the temperature on a candy thermometere reaches 248 F (firm ball stage), pour it evenly over baked cookie layer.

Sprinkle with milk chocolate chips and spread with knife when melted. When it is thoroughly cool and chocolate is firm, cut into 1-inch bars. (Cutting this is the hardest part of the whole recipe!) Store in airtight container with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking. Makes about 115 cookies, depending on how many you eat while cutting. Let me know what you think. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wild Turkeys!

This morning I took Ryan to golf at 6:30, then I took Dave to BART and this is what I came home to...wild turkeys in my driveway! There were 9 of them, just gobbling their way through our yard. They are a little early for dinner.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer at Northstar-at-Tahoe

We've talked about biking at Tahoe for a long time and this year we finally made plans to do it. Unfortunately the Boy Scouts also made plans and Andy went to Trinity Alps for a backpacking trip at the same time, so we missed him.
First, we took the gondola up to mid mountain and thought we took the "Easy Rider" run, but apparently we missed the little wooden bridge and went down Village Run instead. Ryan did NOT love it. He was a good sport though, having told us in the condo that he didn't want to go, and proving that his bike was way too small (Now, in fairness, I have tried on many occasions to buy him a bigger bike with gears, but he always refuses!), so he ended up carrying his bike down the mountain all by himself. At least he didn't leave it up there!
We did one more run all together so we could try Easy was harder than the first one. So, we went back to our place for lunch and left the kids to make up a skit while Dave and I went for a 'real ride'. We went up two gondolas and started out by Schaeffer's Camp, where we warm up after a cold ski day in the winter. It was a blast riding down the mountain as fast as we could go (well, Dave did have to wait for me a few times) with our whole bodies vibrating to the point that my fingers turned blue. This is when I realized they weren't just trying to make more money off me at the nice bike shop, when I sadly went the cheap route and bought us all bikes without shocks at Sport's Authority.
I have a whole new respect for BMX and downhill was hard! I was the only one who bit it and didn't let anyone know until we got back to our place and one of the kids noticed the trail of blood running down one leg and the massive bruise on my other knee. I was blessed with a very high pain tolerance.

The next day we went to the Lake and walked around in the sand. We met a guy with a metal detector and Ryan was fascinated. He found a few pennies and some pull taps with his gadget; I, however, of the 20/15 laser surgery, found 2 dimes and a 50 cent piece! The kids found lots of sea glass to make pendants for their beadery.

We went to Old Greenwood Country Club and played tennis. From an earlier post you may remember that it took Ryan and I about an hour to get 6 hits in a row. He reminded me of that and said he wanted to do it again. So Dave and the girls played and Ryan and I took about 20 minutes to get our 6 hits. Dave and I switched so I had a turn to hit with the girls who said I didn't do it right. Then I glanced over to the other court just in time to see Ryan hit the 13th consecutive ball! I think they ended up with a 21 hit rally. Hmmm...maybe it's me! There was a great playground there and we had to drag the kids away.

After Dave and I had a great dinner at the Chocolate Bar (yes, you read that right) we brought the kids with us to watch the original Bad News Bears on a huge outdoor screen with hot chocolate.

The day we left, we took the gondola up to the top of Vista and did a little 3-mile loop on the mountain. It was so beautiful and we saw tons of chipmunks, which you could see too, if I could figure out how to add pictures to this post. Duh.
I am glad Andy had a great time backpacking, but we did miss him a lot.
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Monday, August 10, 2009


I was tired of the "coat closet" door always being open and decided to clean it out. Didn't find too many coats in there, but look at all those shoes! The rule was to only put shoes that were worn often in this closet and the rest in the bedroom closets. Just for the record, most of mine and Dave's are in our closet... How many feet do we have? I mean, really, we wear all of these shoes (even UGGS in the summer heat!) often? I had the kids go through their part and most of their shoes didn't even fit anymore. Guess I'm not the "clean it queen" I thought I was. Ha!
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Earthquakes vs DC United

When we picked up the kids soccer uniforms someone gave us free tickets to an Earthquakes game that night. So, we scrapped our plans and spontaneously headed to Santa Clara. It was a great game and they tied 2-2. Since the Earthquakes scored 2 goals, every one in the stadium got a free $10 player card to Dave & Buster's in San Jose! There's nothing like free fun.

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