Friday, July 30, 2010

When the Fridge Attacks

It seems like lately  I've had a lot of "Lucy Moments."  That's what I call the times when something I do (or don't do) causes a different outcome than I expected.  Undoubtedly, when one of these events occurs, my first reaction is to take a picture.  Don HATES it when I do this.  He thinks that leaving Price in a dirty, poop smeared crib while I go get the camera, or when I decide not to extinguish the small fire burning in the oven (thanks to overflowing cupcakes) until I have pictorial proof means that I have my priorities mixed up.

So tonight, when I opened the refrigerator door and was attacked by a precariously placed bowl of coleslaw, I could hear his eyes rolling when I grabbed the camera to document what it would look like if anyone ever stuck a stick of dynamite in Barney.

 Barney before

And after...

There were little purpley bits EVERYWHERE!  All over the fridge, inside and out, on my face, in my hair, and in places that lead me to believe that most physics theories are just a bunch of hooey.

Nothing like a little excitement on a Friday night...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And Then He Was Two

Dear Price,

You are two years old today.  We've spent the day doing all of your favorite things:  watching Thomas, reading books about trains, making and eating pepperoni/pineapple pizza, sneaking bits of chocolate, playing outside in the water with lots of your big kid friends.  It was a good day, and I wasn't even sad at all.  Not one little bit bothered by the fact that you are growing up so fast and are officially no longer a baby.  But, you'll always be my baby boy!

You are blossoming into such a fun person.  You are hysterical and you TOTALLY know it.  After four months of therapy you are talking like a champ and finally (in the past few days) figuring out that a spoon really is a handy tool, especially when eating ice cream.  You have gone from being unable to say "mommy" (or most other words really) to identifying all of your ABCs and counting to 10 (although you often skip 8).

It's hard for me to be mad at you or scold you when you do something you shouldn't because you are so cute.  When you do something that you know you shouldn't and I tell you to back off or remove your hands from putting a third dvd in the the Playstation and you ignore me and I start counting to three as a warning, you look right at me and count 3,1,2.  It's precious and sidetracks me.

You are kind and gentle.  You have a sweet spirit.  You have the best laugh.  You love dinner time, you are easily amused by whatever daddy and I do, and we are just as amused by you.  So we spend as much time laughing as we do eating.  And speaking of eating, you are definitely my son!  You would rather eat condiments (sour cream and ketchup being your favorites) than the actual food it's dressing up.  You also share my fondness for Mexican food and often ask for "tias" (tortillas), chips and salsa (said with a slight lisp).

I adore you Pricey.  I wish you would hurry up and outgrow this Poo Poo Picasso phase you're apparently into, after four days of it last week we are now making you sleep in zip up footie pajamas, even at nap time!  But your well timed kisses almost make me not mind.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy.

Mommy (which you say all the time now, and it is truly the sweetest sound I've ever heard)

PS- the pictures below were taken last year, on your first birthday, in the same chair and yes (remarkably) in the same outfit as the ones I took today (and nope, I wasn't even trying to recreate the poses, but watch out kiddo, since you've done it two years in a row be ready for an annual fist pump in the rocking chair picture).  I'm not sure if I should be concerned that it still mostly fits.

My how you've changed and yet stayed the same!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When Food Looks Like It Came From the Porn Store

Today, I made some super easy corn dogs.  I had left over hot dogs that were cut into bite size pieces and needed to use them up.  And the thought occurred to me that I could make them into corn dogs by baking them in corn bread mix.  So, I did.
I took one box of corn muffin mix and made it according to directions (don't judge me for not using Jiffy.  Jiffy is my corn bread mix of choice, but here in Guam, you gotta take what's available).  I generously sprayed a mini-muffin pan with Pam, filled each muffin cup up about half way and then inserted the hot dogs. 1 box of muffin mix made 16 mini-muffins.
To someone with her mind in the gutter the pre-cooked corn dogs could maybe be viewed as borderline obscene.

But the final product...

Pardon my observation, but they reminded me of pregnancy nipples.  Sorry for the direction this post has taken, but I just needed to acknowledge what you all are thinking.

Once I got past the visual, I was able to admit they were pretty tasty.  Next time I'm just going to make them in regular size muffin tins.


Although I spent last week being all crafty and doing projects for Price's birthday party.  I am here to assure Martha Stewart and these great craft bloggers:
that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to me taking over the crafting world.  Because as I constantly remind myself, what I may exude in creativity, I definitely lack in common sense.

So, although I may do fun projects like this,


Or (my personal favorite) this,

I always end up with a permanent reminder of how taking a few extra minutes to truly prepare before embarking on a crafting expedition, could save me the pain of having to see something like this every time I look at my patio.

Yes, that is concrete permanently stained with, well, it's stained with stain from another project I'm working on....  I truly do not have an ounce of perfectionism in my blood.

Monday, July 26, 2010


So, apparently my blog background no longer exists in cyberspace.  Which means, my blog is going to be a little dressed down until I can find the motivation, energy, time to gussy it back up.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Biba Guam!

66 years ago today, Guam was liberated from the Japanese by the US Marines.  Each year, on July 21, Guam celebrates its liberation.  Pretty much all of Guam shuts down and lines up for the parade down Marine Corps Drive.  In Guam, Liberation Day is a bigger deal than the 4th of July   Price and I went so we could see this,

Which was being led by this,

One of the things I enjoy most about Guam are the signs.  People here really express themselves through posters and placards.  Today was no exception.

A walking billboard.

I'm not sure if the sign above is referring to the anticipated military build up on Guam (you  know, the one that may cause the island to capsize) or what, but political signs addressed to senators are a common occurrence.

And then there was this one, with a very informative PSA.

Which obviously wasn't being observed by several parade participants.

Car seat in the back of a pick up.  Luckily, no kid is in it.

But wait, maybe the baby in the BUMBO ON TOP OF THE TRUCK would be better off in the back of the pick up?

In addition to the signage, we saw lots of palm frond hats, ancient Chamorro in loin cloths and one biker dude who was wearing spurs.

One of the best parts about Liberation Day is the food.  The parade route is a non-stop party, families begin camping out a few nights before the parade to get a spot.  They start cooking before the sun comes up.  And many of the families invite non-locals to share in their feasts.

We were lucky enough to be invited by these nice people,
There were two roasted pigs, bar-b-q chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, red rice, and too many desserts to count.  Plus, the best finadene sauce (it's a Guam specialty) I've ever had.  They welcomed us like family, handed us plates and wouldn't let us leave until our plates were loaded up and we had drinks in each hand.  It's the kindness of so many of the people here that makes it easier to be here, away from home.

But in case we needed a reminder that we aren't at home and are here, there were no horses in this parade (I cannot remember ever watching a parade with no horses), but there was this lizard.

I don't know, maybe there were some horses in the parade, we only stayed for the first 3 and a half hours of it.  It went on for two more hours after we left- hot, tired, stinky, sweaty, slightly sunburned, super thirsty.  But really happy that we got to experience another aspect of Guam's culture.  Thankful for the kind people who fed us.  Reflective of the Guamanians who lived under the rule of the Japanese for 3 years during WWII and the Marines who came and liberated them.

Happy Liberation Day!

Oh and he had fun too, watching his first parade... 


*If you are easily offended, read no further...

We got home from Guam's Liberation Day parade (I was in the midst of writing that post, when everything that I am about to relay to you went down, so that post is forthcoming.  It is my goal to continue to put off anything having to do with Price's party until the last minute get that post up later this evening.) we were sweaty and tired after sitting in the sun for four hours watching the world's longest parade.  As soon as we got home, I changed Price's diaper, read him two books and put him down for his nap.  As I was going to lay him down, I thought I caught a whiff of poop, but rather than trust my well-honed sense of smell and check, I just ignored it and left him in bed.  Why, after 1 year, 50 weeks and 6 days of motherhood would I listen to my instinct?

He cried for a bit (not unusual at nap time), got quiet and then I heard him talking to himself (also not unusual).  I should, however, have been alarmed by the giggling, but I thought he was playing some game with his stuffed animals or something.  I was determined to make him stay in bed for at least an hour so I could check email, blog, read, do nothing productive get some things done around the house.  He never fell asleep, so at 4:00 I went into his room to get him out of bed.  Instead of being greeted by his smiling face, I was overcome by the strong smell of poo.  I knew I was in trouble.

I walked over to his bed and there he stood, smiling and stinking.  Covered in crap, from head to toe- especially his hands and legs.  Somehow, his shorts were still on.  After taking note of him, I saw his bed, and like every good mommy blogger went to get the camera.

Now, let me tell you, the kid hadn't pooped in two days. He ate about a pound of cheese on Sunday and Monday, so today at the parade, I let him eat as much dried mango as he wanted, seeing as how dried mango helps when you're a little stopped up.  So, he had a massive poop and proceeded to play with the biggest, poopiest, smelliest diaper he's had in while.

After I got him cleaned up, which involved scrubbing him with soap and water, and changed.  I could still smell poo.  And then I looked through the slats on his crib.
Yep, that's poop on the floor (well, not exactly the floor- more like a storage box that lives under his crib),

shit next to the sheep.

And the first words out of my mouth were, "Damn it Price."  And then the sweetest voice says back to me, "Damn it Price."  Oops, I forgot how much of a parrot he has turned into.  Yet, that didn't restrain me from saying, "Shit!," as I was kneeling on the floor, scrubbing poop off his bed and various surfaces.  I thought I said it quietly, but obviously not quiet enough since I hear, "shit, shit, shiiittttttt."  At that point, I start laughing but it turns into brief tears (I know, over really not that much, but did I mention how I tried I was from being at the longest parade ever?).  And then, as if he knows what he did was wrong and feels bad, he grabs my face and starts kissing me,  how can I be mad at the Poo Poo Picasso?   I guess I should invest in some duct tape to keep his hands out of his pants finger paint to let him get his creativity out elsewhere.

I still can't get the smell of poop out of my head.  Oh wait, maybe that's because, yes, I just noticed a little brown smear on my shirt.  Damn it Price!!


Price likes to wear shoes.  He tries to get into any pair he can find.  Last night, he found his way into Don's boots.  We thought he looked like Dorf.

Then we both felt very old for having Dorf as a frame of reference.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back On Track

Price will be 2 in two weeks.  I have been pretty much in complete denial about this for quite a while. Part of my reason for denial is I just can't believe my baby boy is almost two. Everyone tells you to enjoy these moments while they last because it goes by so fast, and it truly does. I don't know where two years have gone (ok, well maybe one deployment and a move to a tiny speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean had something to do with it). I am also in denial because it's easier for me to ignore planning a party that no family will be attending than to think about how this is the first of many such occasions in our military life that this will be the case. I'm not really sad for me, I'm more sad for Price and his grandparents that we don't have the kind of life where we can just run over to grandma's house whenever we want (but it sure does make our visits home more sweet).

Luckily, Don is not quite the procrastinator I am and has been very encouraging of me to make the most of what we have and reminding me that the party is to celebrate Price, and while we won't have family-family here, we'll have  friends/military-family here with us.  He is right, and I realized if I don't get on it, there will be no denying that I passed over Price's birthday.  And I don't want to start Price on a journey of disappointing birthdays- not that he would even know, he's turning two, not ten- I decided to get on the ball.

The theme is easy...  there are two things that Price is obsessed with, and only one of them is appropriate party material (unless of course it's for a bachelorette party and really, even then it makes the sober ones of us uncomfortable to be surrounded by all things phallic)...  TRAINS!!  Price loves trains.  And I love making invitations.  So, I have spent the better part of two days fully embracing the total pigsty my house was , actually not hating that Don was working 16 hour over night shifts, and letting Price take longer naps and watch more tv than I care to admit so I could make this...

Of course, there is no where to get them printed off (easily, that I know about, would be fast and cheap) on this island, so they're being sent electronically, and now that I'm looking at the image, I really should have added the border to the bottom half- oh well.

Anyway, now that this is done, I'm coming up with the rest of the plans.  I'm concocting a pretty cute (I think) party favor for the kids who come and there are grand plans to make a cardboard train.  Which is why I have a stack of boxes in my dining room.  I'm really, really, really going to try very hard to not watch the Real Housewives of Anywhere On This Planet until it's all done so I won't get the "I told you so face" when I end up throwing away a bunch of never made it into a train boxes.  Pretty sure procrastination and whatever form of ADD I have cannot be cured in a week.

I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When the Coast Is Clear

I will admit here, for those of you who don't already know, I am a Parrothead.  I attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert when I was 17 years old.  Even though I was already a fan of his music before I went to the concert, the party atmosphere and feeling like I was in the biggest group of fellow beach bums made me like him even more.  I have been fortunate enough to attend several concerts and each one was more fun than the last (the party in the parking lot is almost more fun than the show itself) .  And yes, I always wear a hat...
I am very fortunate that my husband also embraced the Parrothead culture, and still asked me to marry him several weeks after a pretty embarrassing incident involving me and the gates of the State Fair of Texas prior to a concert.

The reason I like JB's music so much is because it instantly transports me to the Gulf Coast.  One song in particular has always hit a special note with me, When the Coast Is Clear.  The song is a ballad about a small beach town during the off season, when the tourists have left- my favorite time on the coast is the fall.  I love an empty beach and a cold wind blowing.  This isn't one of JB's more popular songs because it's not a party song,  it doesn't get played very often in concert (I think I've heard it once).  So, I was pretty surprised when I was watching his concert for the coast tonight and he chose this song to close the televised part of the show.  He mentioned that they modernized it a bit, but what they did was incredible (the singing not so great, but awesome lyrics).  It was a song of hope for the Gulf and recovering from the BP oil spill.

I teared up a little listening to this song.  I hope that the Gulf can recover and that the places where I grew up will again be clean and full of life.

Updated with new video link, hopefully this one will stay active

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cuckoo for Coconuts

We've had a great  10 days with Don's parents.  The time has flown by!  We've done lots of sightseeing and just enjoyed spending time with family.  I'll share some of our adventures with you soon, but just in time for the weekend, I wanted to share a really great breakfast recipe.  Of course, unless you live here in Guam, you may not be able to find FRESH coconut to use, but try it anyway, your taste buds will thank you.

There are literally coconut trees everywhere you look here.  These trees actually produce coconuts, that fall to the ground when they are ready to be eaten ripe.  Although we have been surrounded by said coconuts for almost a year, we haven't taken the time (and trust me, if done the wrong way, it will take quite a bit of time) to crack one of these babies open.  It took out of town guests to get us acting like locals and eat some fresh coconut.

Our coconut fest started thanks to Martha Stewart.  My mother-in-law recently saw a segment on Martha's show about homemade coconut pudding.  The recipe (and Martha herself) very specifically called for fresh coconut.  I finally got brave and went to our local produce stand (AMAZING!!!!) and bought a coconut and had them grate it for me.  It was two bucks and produced about 3 cups of freshly grated coconut.

We made the pudding,

It was pretty good.  I am going to make it again with some modifications and report back to you.  But we had quite a bit of leftover coconut.  And we also got adventurous and decided to try to harvest our own coconuts.  Don spotted some on his daily run, so we picked them up and brought them home.

The thing you may not know is, the actual nut, the part that you eat, is buried deep within the husk.  The husk has a very thick shell.  A shell that can be opened simply if you know the right technique.  If you do not know the correct technique and attempt to open the coconut with a hammer, it will take two grown men almost an hour.  (we should  have Googled "how to crack a coconut" BEFORE cracking our coconut open).
We (by we, I mean Don and his dad while I took pictures) finally got the thing open and it was a beauty.  We even took sips of the coconut juice (another coconut fact- did you know coconut juice is the liquid that that comes out of the coconut when you crack it open, but coconut milk is produced by squeezing the "meat" of the coconut?  I did not, I thought the terms were interchangeable, I was corrected).

My house was officially overflowing with coconut.  So, for our last breakfast together, I decided to create some Tropical French Toast (I need a catchier name, but that was all I could come up with at such an early hour of the morning).  It turned out great and was super fast and easy.  Perfect for a Saturday morning treat. And my mother in law, lover of French Toast, declared it as the best French Toast she's ever eaten...  Not that I'm bragging.

Tropical French Toast  (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, Sticky Buns French Toast)
1/3 C Tropicana Orange-Peach-Mango Juice (or any orange juice you have on hand)
1/3 C Orange Curacao (or Triple Sec, or any orange liqueur or if you don't like alcohol, just use plain OJ)
4 large eggs
4 tbsp salted butter
3 tbsp honey
1/3 C FRESH coconut (it really doesn't need to be fresh, but unsweetened if possible)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 thick slices of a sweet bread (I used King's Hawaiian, but Challah bread would work well.  I used to think I didn't like French Toast, then I had it on good bread and realized that it's the only way to have French Toast on a good, thick bread.  To get the full effect of this dish, please don't make with Wonder bread)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Set oven to 400.  In 9x13 pan, add butter and honey.
Place pan in oven while heating and let butter and honey melt, but don't let butter turn brown.

While butter is melting, combine eggs, liquids and spices.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Once butter is melted, remove from oven and stir to combine and cover entire pan.  Sprinkle coconut over butter/honey mixture.

Set aside and dip bread into egg mixture.  Coat well, but don't let bread get too soggy.

Place bread on top of coconut in baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, until edges slightly brown.  I baked for 18 minutes and it was perfection.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Take a bite.  Feel the crackle of the caramelized coconut on the bottom.  Enjoy citrus and salty as they waltz across your palate.  So sweet, you don't even need syrup.

Enjoy! And have a great weekend.
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