Sunday, March 20, 2016

What Happened in February

We took advantage of Piefection pie shop  dinner deal. Half a mile from our house and we had never had it before.

M continued his discovery of all the baby gear stashed in his closet and had a tea party with J.

We dogsat Reece and did her hair.

I found inappropriately named lettuce that I couldn't hold up inappropriately and take a selfy at the the same time.

We started eating popsicles because it hit 90 degrees much earlier this year.

J asked for a picture

M had to join

 I might rename him Iceman

J made a soda pop stand out of her imagination.

We went to the trampoline park

All the cousins did their hair for our Valentine's Day party portraits that I will post eventually.

While I was sleeping, M and J pilfer some leftover cake without any remorse

"It's on my mouth"

J felt these foam bath toys made great bracelets and anklets and made her look like a hula dancer

Remember how I wasn't allowed to exercise in February because of placenta previa? I tried REALLY hard not to take it out on my children (fairly unsuccessfully, but they are both still alive). In an effort to keep us all occupied, I decided to do pinterest style art projects.

It took about 15minutes for my angry irritation to kick in, but at least we got 15 solid minutes.

Remember how M found the baby gear? Dolly needed some formula supplementation. On the floor of the pantry.

We went to the zoo and Cheryl the Great and Matt came along. Why we didn't take a group photo, I have no idea, but it was a lovely adventure.

M woke me up by slapping my face with a package of popcorn and demanded I make him some. I find my kitchen like this because he removed every bowl in search of his favorite: a giant blue plastic colander.

J was effortlessly cool wearing a backwards hat.

I, however, will never be effortlessly cool.

Husband put the compost in the garden for me because of the whole "don't lift any weights" thing. J put it in piles and planted flowers in the piles.

I ordered M a paw patrol chair because the fights over the small camping chair were bugging me (just like pretty much every action of every human being in that month). Campfire was a very popular game that week.

M went poop on the potty again and earned the big Spiderman. I didn't know this item from PopPop's old stash came with batteries. Poor planning on my part, but I will submit to quite a bit in return for properly disposed of feces.

My friend ended up needed a support person when she was in labor so I got to pull an all nighter and be the first to meet this little one. Such a great experience! It gives me more empathy for my hubby because it is kind of hard to feel so helpless while someone is going through pain. Don't get me wrong though, it's maybe 1/50th the difficulty of actually going through labor. And ugg, I'm going to have to do the labor thing again in a couple months. Ugg.

The fresh babies sure are cute though.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Staycation with Food Pictures You Don't Care About

I'm a grumpy pregnant person. Although now that I think about it, I lean towards grumpy in general. But when I'm growing another human being, I get extra grumpy. When my auntie and uncle generously offered to keep my kids for a weekend after I dog sit for them, I started dreaming up fun ideas for a getaway. Then I started culling the ideas to accommodate the fetus. Do I really want to go to San Fransisco for a weekend when walking for extended periods of time is difficult? Do I really want to fly anywhere when it requires cramming my pregnant belly and overly long legs in a space designed for small folks? Where would we even go? We've been to most of the major ones and the ones we haven't been to need more than a day to enjoy enough to warrant the moola. Grumble grumble grumble. 

Then I started going into day trip categories. Sitting in a car for more than an hour gets uncomfortable as well. Most of my AZ destinations revolve around interesting places to hike and explore, something not approved by my doc when she put me exercise restriction. So what's the point of traveling? Do I get a fancy hotel in town? The ones that are swanky enough to feel like an adventure run around $250-300 this time of year. And if I'm going to spend $700 on a weekend, I'd like to do it somewhere cool, not just sleep in a bed 20 minutes from my house. 

What did I REALLY want to do? I wanted to eat at new restaurants without my children. And get some projects done that I've been meaning to since January 2015 and before. I love working on stuff with Husband and he assured me he was game for it.

So that's what we did! We ate out every single meal, cut wood for all my projects, and binge watched Fuller House while making a tufted headboard.

First stop: Worth Takeaway

My friend Jami is always raving about it on facebook and after eating their crispy chicken sandwich, I TOTALLY understand. A crispy chicken sandwich would not be my first choice anywhere, but this one has me thinking about it weeks later. You know that honey glazed chicken you see on pinterest and those recipe videos on facebook? They never quite taste as good as they look. This sandwich tastes like those pictures look. The Cuban with crispy pork was also delicious. Given, these are $9 sandwiches because it is a hippy, locally-sourced 150sqft of restaurant, kind of place. Still worth it (see what I did there?) It's by the giant pink chair sculpture on Main street next to the Fiber Factory. The banana pudding was good too, but I don't dream about it like I do the sandwiches I failed to photograph.

Then we attacked the head board. I already had plywood left over from building my patio. I bought a 2x4 piece of wood 8 months ago for it. I had half a king-sized memory foam topper from our very first apartment that looked gross and had a giant tear in it. I had bought batting, washers, screws, and covered button kits 7 months ago. The blue velvet was $9/yd at SAS and is a bit darker than my ideal but I love it. Overall, we made a king velvet headboard for $80 and I'm rather proud.  There are about 10 things I would do a little differently as far as technique goes, but I really like how it turned out. Don't waste your time drilling holes and sewing buttons or building a frame around peg board like the internets tell you. Little Green Notebook has the right idea. Glue foam to plywood in as many pieces as you need, wrap the batting around it and staple, wrap fabric and staple. Mark tufts and put in screws, with a washer for a little more pull. Hot glue fabric button over screws. Drill hole for bolts in 2x4, attach 2x4. Next time I'll cut the foam a little smaller than the plywood and not pull the velvet as tight. And drill the screws slowly so I don't tear that one nickel-sized hole in the fabric, spending 1.5 hrs trying different ways to fix it. 

Next restaurant stop, Blue Adobe Grill. Just down the street from where I went to high school, I never actually went. My parents said it was meh back when I kid so I never actually tried it. But after Aunt Chris recommended it and Check Please Arizona featured it, we had to try it. Who am I to argue with low budget PBS shows that are mind-numbingly dull but have yet to let me down on food recommendations?

Shrimp enchilada, AMAZING chile rellano, and carne adovada. All solid, but the shrimp enchilada surprised me as my favorite.


Husband's chorizo stuffed chicken. I can't remember what it tasted like because I was still in shrimp enchilada nirvana trying not to be distracted by the call of the rellano. I really liked everything, as did the entire contingent of winter visitors in town for the Cubs game.

The next morning we embarked on a journey to Phoenix to try AZ's best donut shop according to some forgotten publication. Welcome Chicken and Donuts truly did win. I haven't had a better donut. They also win points for weird original flavors, like chili lime and local tangerine with cream cheese.

They make a killer breakfast sandwich with a cake donut holding the egg and cheese. Don't waste your time with the Griddle, the South by Southwest is significantly better even though I thought jalepeno relish with the donut would be disgusting. Nope, delicious. Fried chicken isn't served until 10:30am and plan your visit accordingly because it gets busy fast! At about 10:20, there was no one in line for donuts, just 20 people patiently crowded in line for chicken. Then they started chanting "Chicken!" so they began serving it a little early. And this chicken was worth the chanting. I liked the Japanese BBQ sauce a bit better than the Korean Chili. Next time I'm trying the ramen. Because ramen from a donut shop is something I MUST try.


Since we had to digest our 3000 calories before the next feeding, We went to see the Martian at the dollar theater. Tempe's dollar theater may be $3/ticket, but the ambiance is way cooler.

If you go to a discount theater at 11am on a Saturday, you will be the youngest by 30 years. It's cool though, because we live on a golf course and being 3 or 4 decades younger than the neighbors is kind of our jam.

Now this next restaurant, it's like they designed it especially for me. First, it's a cafe located inside an antique mall.  I know, right? Second, they have pain au chocolate that is just half a step down from Essence bakery's (the best croissants I've had outside of Europe) and the rest of the bread is fresh made locally. Third, they sell a huge variety of vintage sodas, the biggest selection I've seen since the Pop Shop closed down. We washed down excellent smoked tri-tip with Butterscotch rootbeer and ginger orange soda. 

This my friends, is the beauty of American Way Market, new owners of (now defunct) Bill Johnson's smoker, creators of a surprisingly delicious smoked egg salad sandwich. 

At this point in our gluttony, we decided we should probably pick up our lovely children.  It was a fabulous weekend and I'm so happy Husband took a day off work for stapling fabric and feasting.


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