Happy Halloween!

So what... I'm one day late. Sue me!

Ok, so for the Spook-tacular we headed over to uncle Danny's house to trick for treats in a great little neighborhood.

First up... it's that stinky, onion-layered olgar - SHREK!

Raye was the webbed crusader - SPIDERMAN;
Ryann was the cutest, most angelic - DEVIL

The pigment-challenged little guy (as "R" so eloquently stated last year) is
our nephew Kevin, as - THE THING; and rounding out a our four-some is the nicest WITCH you'd ever want to meet - Jade.

We went around 2 entire blocks (approximately 20 houses - we didn't stop at every house). One of the most memorable moments was when one family gave Chris a book, instead of candy (say it with me now.... "awwwwwwwww")

All in all, the kids had a blast; Clif went trick or treating for the first time sent he was a kid,

... and grandma (G-mama) went along for her first Halloween with her grand-kiddies!


Jones vs. Simpsons

With the Halloween holiday approaching, Clif and I were sitting around thinking about who we may want to dress up as. One thing led to another and we got on the topic of the Simpsons. I was thinking about submitting a tape to AFV with our family remaking the opening scene of the Simpson's television show (you know the scene where Homer almost gets run over by Marge in the driveway, while Bart skateboards on top of his car and the whole family enters into the livingroom and every week there's something "new" in that last scene?)

The skit would work out so perfectly, we thought, because we have the same 'make-up' as the family on the Simpson's. The only difference about our family is Ryann is older than Raye and Chris is not a girl. Other than that... we could give it a shot. Doh! Did I forget to mention that Clif doesn't really like sweets? I may have to re-think this whole idea... I mean Homer not eating jelly donuts? Huh?

So, here's our pictures with our television-like family/friends:
Chris with Maggie (Clif and Homer are watching over them so carefully)

Raye with Lisa

Ryann with Patricia Selma Bouvier (Marge's sister)

Me with Selma Bouvier (Marge's other sister)

...and Clif with Barney

Good thing for season passes

Have you been to Universal Studios Hollywood lately? I think the last time I was there the Backdraft attraction was the new 'it' thing to se. Man have things changed! The first thing you can't help but notice is the price... YIKES! We took the kids here in the summer, shortly after Chris' arrival. We thought that it would be a good way to spend time with the family and have some fun. What we weren't planning on doing was spending almost $300 just to get in the front gate.

I think it was something like $65/person for a daily pass and $70 for a yearly pass. This price was the same for all of us, even 6 year old Raye (wth?). Oh well, we bit the bullet and paid to get in. The plan was to come back as often as possible to get our money's worth (we suck at 'getting our money's worth').

So the Sunday before Raye's birthday we decided to head back up to Universal for some more "fun in-da sun." We decided to skip a day of sporting games and have some good, old fashion family fun.

Boy did it feel good to just whip out those season passes, flash them to the teeny-boppers that work part-time over the weekend, look at the suckers who were standing in line to pay, and cruise into the park, without having to touch our wallet/purse. [Hmphf, take that stupid poo-poo heads that raised the price of admission]
First up... Nickeloden Zone This is where all the kids seem to forget that this place is not a water park. All around us were kids that flung off their clothes (but kept on their shoes) while they ran around to get soaking wet by a giant rocket that gushed water out of it's butt! My kids also participated in this madness, so much so that we couldn't find them for a few minutes and we were getting ready to head into the rocket madness to look for them (lucky for us they appeared - right as the count down began).
Needless to say we were having a grand ol' time waiting around, with the other parents, for the kids to finish having 'self fun,' and for them to want to have 'family fun' (hence the reason for this damn trip)

After the kids dried off, we decided to take a casual walk around the park. This "casual" walk turned into slight chaos when we found out that the park closed at 6:00 pm. Did I forget to mention that this trip wasn't really planned out thoroughly and resulted in us leaving Torrance at around 3:30 pm? Oh well, it was free right? [*shrugging shoulders*] That's all that mattered. To our surprise most of what we wanted to see was closed/closing; we decided to pick 1 ride/attraction and GO FOR IT! I mean, we are going to be coming back, so we can see the rest later. Right?!

Jurrasic Park the ride is what we chose; now all we had to do is find it. 4 flights of escalators riding; 1 quick picture for the hell of it, and 1 crazy "guess that showtune song" music interlude later and we were at the ride. I sat out the ride because 'someone had to watch Chris' while the others made a mad dash into the line. A few minutes later, everyone was standing in front of me because the two youngest kids (that would be Ryann and Raye) were too afraid to get on the ride. The oldest kid (this would be Clif) still wanted to go and had that 'look' on his face. We finally convinced Ryann to ride with him, and off they went (again) like two freed birds from a cage.
While waiting for my two oldest kids to emerge from the mountain (where they'll spring out and then drop into the water) Raye and Chris had a "kodak" moment It's so wonderful to watch these two together. Chris really loves his big brother, and big brother loves to show little brother all the things that 'he'll be able to do as soon as he is 6.' (yay!) Finally off of the ride, wet and looking like they wanted to say "one more time mommy, please?", it was now 5:50. All of the other attractions were (almost) simultaneously closing down, so off we went (again) on the 4-escalator ride journey (again listening to the same showtune contest)
After leaving the park we headed over to EB Games to play around (some more) and fool the kids into thinking we were actually going to buy some Wii games. Little did they know Clif had already picked up some games for Raye's birthday. We're so cruel. Dinner at Buca di Beppo and then it was time to drive home and get ready for school the next day.

Bye USH, see you next time (and by next time I mean some time before the end of the year) :)

(who the hell do they get to wear these costumes anyway? it was like 100 degrees outside)


Now where was I?

Oh yeah, before I was so rudely interupted by this stinkin' stomach virus, flu, cold; I was talking about my son turning 7. It's funny how kids want to celebrate their birthday for as long as they can. How dare they?

My son wanted a 'Last Day Being 6' cake (which was triple layer chocolate cake).This cake came complete with a song ("happy last day of being 6 to you...")

At 4:30am, Clif and I woke Raye up to open up some new toys (Spiderman Wii game and a Power Ranger helmet - Raye was so psyched!)
On his actual birthday Raye was surprised by mommy at school. I took some red velvet cupcakes to his class with juice and a toy for all of his friends
(His teacher has never heard of 'red velvet' before). Later that day the family came over to sing 'happy birthday' to Raye

and play the new game. Nana even came by and kicked his butt (see his face)

Fast forward to Saturday, where we had his official birthday party at Skate Depot in Cerritos. I made chocolate cupcakes from scratch and arranged them to spell "Raye"

Happy birthday baby... let's do it again next year


Happy 7th birthday, Donald Raye (III)

Seven years ago today (almost exactly) I sat, alone, inside of my hospital room holding my newborn son, smiling. He weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was the cutest baby boy I'd ever seen. He slept in my arms and all I could do was lie there and watch him. He was truly a gift from God.

Rewind 5 months back to that day in the doctor's office when me and my ex were told that 'he' was going to be a 'she.' "What?" my ex replied. "You mean I'm going to have to walk through the mall with 2 little girls? Ugh!" Of course he was still happy to hear that baby was healthy and that we were both doing fine. He still was a little upset that he wouldn't be shopping for anything blue anytime soon.
"I think you're wrong Dr. Lu. I feel like this is going to be a boy," is what I said. My doctor politely nodded that 'I graduated from USC School of Medicine and I know what the hell I'm talking about' nod at me. He went on to tell me that ultrasounds do not normally mistake a boy for a girl, it's the other way around. He gave me his confidence that the baby would be a girl.

Fastforward through all of the follow up doctor's apppointments and ultrasounds, all of which turned out to confirm that his previous diagnosis was correct. Every single picture and ultrasound seemed to point out that we were having another girl. Still, I kept telling my ex, and anyone that would listen, that I felt differently about this pregnancy, and that I believed that I was carrying a boy.

Monday, October 23rd at 11:42am, as I pushed for only the 2nd time, appeared (upside down) my beautiful baby with a head full of hair and very strong lungs. Starting from the bottom up (I had forgotten it was upside down) looked the baby over and then yelled "I told you.... it's a BOY!" Dr. Lu then formed that look of defeat across his face and smiled. When I turned to look at my ex... WAIT... where did he go? He made a mad dash down the hospital hallway, to let every know (the 2 people who decided to come to the hospital for this birth) that it was a boy. He didn't even make sure that I was ok. He just bolted out of the room and began making phone calls in all of the excitement. I think he came back into the room about 5 minutes later, just in enough time to cut the cord (which means it probably wasn't that long).

Slowly but surely all of the family began to arrive to the hospital; all sad that they were not there to witness Donald Raye being born. They were all there when Ryann emerged and having 'another' girl just didn't seem to be all that exciting to them; they all opted to hear about the birth over the phone.

Eventually I kicked all of there asses out shortly after 2p and told them they had to wait until he came home....I didn't want to share my special little guy with any of those non-believers.


Homemade Sunday

The first thing out of my kids mouths on the weekend is "what's for breakfast?"
With this on my mind, I remember that we didn't go grocery shopping to pick up something to cook. What is in the kitchen for me to make to shut my kids up?Pancakes... but not (box) pancake mix... a recipe for HOMEMADE PANCAKES.(seriously not as hard as you might think).

Here is the recipe. After adding mixing together all of the ingredients, they come out just as easy as the box mix (sans having to go to the store to begin cooking). The mix yields about 2 cups of batter; sadly, we had an early causalty. This cake had no sugar included in it's mix and therefore was tossed into the trash.

Here is Ryann helping mommy out in the kitchen:

Here is Chris and Clif giving me the "hurry up, I'm hungry" look:

Oh... and homemade pancakes would not be complete if .... (say it with me) they are not served with HOMEMADE SYRUP! Yup... I made syrup. The funny part is that we had ample syrup already in the house.

Pancakes are good... pancakes are our friend.

Soccer-Free Saturday

Woo hoo!
We opted not to allow the kids to participate in the "Gopher Classic" for soccer this year. I think they've been playing their tales off this year, so I wanted them to have a little break from sports this weekend. Raye's little friend, Charles, had his 7 year old birthday celebration at Pa's Pumpkin Patch in Long Beach. We headed out to the patch for some pumpkin fun, and enjoyed an afternoon with the carnies (one of those weird carnival folks even came up to the party and asked for a cupcake).

Here's the family:

Here is my attempt to get Raye and his friends on one of those 'spinning cup' rides (I was dizzy just looking at them spin around):

1 crusty crabcake please!

Oh, boy... I completely forgot about blogging about my attempt to make crabcakes. Me and Clif, a while back, went to the Chart House for dinner. We had the most amazing crabcake (yes... we shared 1- crabcake) for an appetizer. After this encounter I decided I would try to make some. How hard could it be? It's just crabmeat, seasoning and oil.

First, I had to decide what type of crab to purchase. I hate imitation crabmeat, so that was out. Was I really going to buy some legs and then remove the meat.... HELL TO THE NAH! So the next best thing was to by the REAL meat. At Bristol Farms they had a good selection, and I ended up buying Blue Star lump crab meat. I also pikced up some shrimp to add into the cakes.

Add some seasoning, mayo, mustard.... and... "Houston, we have crabcakes!"

I even made a homemade sauce to go with it. The sauce was made of mayo, mustard, lemon juice and some of the same seasoning I used in the crabcakes.

Friday (10/19) update:

Friday was a pretty ok day. Nothing to exciting happened during the day.
Wake up.
Get kids ready for school.
Visit properties.
Pick kids up from school.
Come home and try to unwind.

Clif came home early from work (early being 5p) and was in a playful mood.
We decided to take the kids bowling for a night of fun.
First up, Gable House Bowl. This is always a fun place to go and bowl. Rock N Glow bowl is uber-cool with really low lights, loud music and lots of booz :). As great as it is, it's not the most ideal place to take kids on a Friday night, because the lanes fill up pretty quickly (which is why we ended up at another place).

Palos Verdes bowl offered what Gable didn't... a lane to bowl on. Now, granted every worker in this place was over 60 years old, which mean just getting through the door was a task. Can you imagine what it's like to wait on your drinks, food, etc. when a 75 year old waitress has to carry everything? Or if your ball gets stuck in the (warped) bumpers, how long it takes a 81 year old man to go and retrieve it? Let's just say it was a long night (and not because we played a lot of games).

Bowling came to an end when Ryann got a very bad nose bleed. Now, in the past my daughter use to go booger hunting 'causing these episodes. I think she's outgrown this hobby, so I truly do not know what caused the sudden burst of blood from her nose. All I know is I looked up, and she had her hand cupped under her nose catching what was coming out. We made a mad dash to the bathroom (I tried to be as careful as possible not to get blood anywhere). 10 minutes later we were able to leave the bathroom and head home. I swear I was ready to head straight to the ER.


Ok Wan... you win

Ok, so Wan and the cutest Monkey ever have convinced me to NOT BLOG & DRIVE!
(it had so much potential too! - oh well)

Because of this decision, and being extremely busy all week long, I haven't been able to blog like I've wanted. Man, do I have some catching up to do. Nothing too exciting, just the normal stuff in the Fabulous Life of I[dot]J


Bloggin' while drivin'

So, you know how they have those commercials with people putting on make-up while driving, shaving and even putting on clothes while driving? Well, I've upped the anty on things. I got this cool new Sprint Aircard that allows me to have access to the internet, anywhere (a middle finger to those who have had this gadget for a while now).

Can you imagine what I can blog about at the drop of a dime now? I mean, seriously, being able to blog about WHATEVER while WHATEVER is going on is UBER COOL (to me).



Week 6 - FF update

Man, just when I was on a winning streak, the NFL had to go and make all of my starters participate in a BYE week. I couldn't believe it. I was running around at the last minute (literally at 9:50a and 1:10p) trying to pick up players to help me win this week.

I'm just going to chalk this one up to experience I guess.

BLT... it's what's for dinner!

So, I didn't really feel like preparing some big, elaborate meal for dinner tonight. While watching Raye's 3:00 pm baseball game, I flipping through one of those supermarket, quick meal fixing magazine. Inside the magazine was an article about a sandwich I use to love a lot, a B-L-T. I made it with sourdough bread and added in a few slices of avocado for some added flavor. I also baked up some onion rings for a little crunch. The sandwich turned out nice, and was a welcomed change said Clif.

Chuga-Chuga Choo-Choo baby

So while I'm doin my thang in the kitchen, my kids find anyway possible to keep Chris, and themselves occupied. On this night they played train with Chris inside of our laundry baskets, while Raye decided he wanted to make an apple, grape, orange, carrots and lettuce salad.