Jul 21, 2008

Cutest girls in the whole world!

Oh man, do we love our neighborhood. I could just gush for hours about Clara, the Korean next door, or Ray and Christine and their 3 girls on the other side. Love them! And then we have Dawn and Richard, the Britons from across the street. They emigrated here 3 years ago and we have so much in common with them where we are both foreigners here alone without our family or friends. We both love it here, but have a real twinkle in our eye when we talk about or reminisce of home. They are great.

They are the parents of the two girls I wrote about last post. Chelsea is 11 going on 37. She is your stereotypical Brit with her refined speech and all, so it really comes out of no where that she is so hysterical and fun! I wish I had a few good quotes for you, but the only one I remember offhand is when she came and knocked on our door a few months ago to invite us over for "nibbles" at her parents home and as she left she said, "Well, the offa is thea {there}" It was such a crack-up for this tiny kid to talk like that!

Chelsea and Laine kickin' their dogs up to watch a movie together. Ignore Laine's belly hanging out

Amber-leigh is 15 and is still has managed to not reach the age where she isn't too cool to hang out with a 1 and 4 year old. She is so cute with the kids and in news that is sure to make my sister Katie jealous as all get out, they absolutely adore her.

She is so great, even though Laine calls her 'Molly' much of the time. Yeah, Molly is their dog. Laine is not so good with names... She calls Chelsea 'Jocee' a lot too, Jocee is a girl from school. In other news, she also calls our babysitter Nikee {yeah, like the shoe} 'Nugee', not sure where that one came from. In other randon tidbits Nikee has a sister Demi, as in Moore, and L'oreal, just thought you'd like to know.

Anywho, I always knew I wanted to be the "cool" mom and have all of the kids meet over at our house. I just didn't realize it would happen when my kids were only 1 and 4. I knew the girls liked the kids well enough, but I had no idea they liked them enough to hang out almost every day of their school holiday! I was so happy when they came 'round knocking on the door to see if the kids wanted to go to the park with them. We had so much fun that we made it a daily tradition!

Last week the girls did sidewalk chalk with the kids and ended up making this great track for Laine to ride her bike around. It was complete with carpark, round-about, flower patch, and bridge. Laine LOVED it and since it hasn't rained yet, she still has it and continues to ride around on it everyday. It doesn't look NEARLY as cool as it does in person, it was pretty freakin' awesome, I'm not going to lie.

Anyway, we love these girls! We'll miss you when you go back to school!

Jul 17, 2008

Cutest Boy in the Whole World

Thanks for all of the encouragement, pity, advice, and listening ears. In true fashion, by this week I am now thinking I'm an idiot for making such a big deal out of something so stupid. But thanks, it means a lot to just be understood and know that others out there have challenges too!

We have been busy! In between weekend trips from Hell to Ikea and visiting the 90210 of Australia, we have also kept busy with kids in the neighborhood who have been enjoying their 2 week school holidays. It's been great. I will have to finally get around to doing a post about the cutest girls in the whole world who have been thoroughly entertaining the kids the last 2 weeks. I'm sad the honeymoon is almost over, school will be back up and running Monday, boooo....

...just chewing on the 'ol pram...

So I just want to give a little shout-out to this kid. Every boy needs a Mom who thinks he is the greatest. And that is what I do best. I know many of you all have your own cutest boys in the world, but this one is mine, and I just can't look at this kid without thinking he is the cutest, smartest, funnest boy ever.

And as for a little advertisement for any young ladies out there, ages 0-2 years, this kid is a catch in the making! Get him while he's hot! Not only is he adorable, but he is such a gentlebabyman and he LOVES to help! Somewhere the recessive helper gene got passed on to him, and little boy lives to help. We do the laundry together, he helps me unload the dishwasher, he is in heaven when he gets to help with the grocery shopping... the list goes on and on of all of his "chores" that he so looks forward to. {but yeah, he's not perfect, sometimes he "helps" me with things that don't need helping}

is that magnum... or is it blue steel?

When I hold or carry him he still gently and tenderly rubs my back. It's so sweet! And the other day he even helped guide me in through the door as I was walking in! He couldn't quite reach the small of my back, but my leg was just as good. He is always looking out for me and looking for what needs to be done.

...how you doin'?

He is a good brother to Laine and now has even joined in with the "good girl Laine!" after she goes potty. It's actually hilarious. Now we all 3 say it together....

He's a really good eater too. See. And not even picky.

And he's a really good sport. Or maybe he likes being dressed up like a girl? He was waiting for the camera to go off before he put on the coconut bra.

Anyway, we love our little Mr. Man. Let me know if anyone is interested in some cute baby matchmaking...

Jul 10, 2008

The Second Installment in the "I'm an Idiot" Series

I had a bad day again...I love that song.... What I don't love is being an idiot and being wrong. Pride is some nasty, awful medicine to swallow. I have come up to the computer to post several times in the past few days, I've even opened up the new post page and just stared at it, wondering what to say. I get mad writer's block when I am depressed. Has anyone ever made a huge fool of themselves publicly and in a way that you couldn't take back? I'll start from the top.

I started Hot Garlic as a way to keep track of my own recipes and so I wouldn't have to email my recipes out to a few of my friends and family that had requested I do so. It has been so fun and is really growing, which has been really exciting. I decided I wanted to get involved in more things food, and I heard that recipe forums were a great place to start. It wasn't like I wanted to just plaster myself and my blog all over the place like some ink cartridge toner refill place. But I had never participated in a forum, and only realize now how confused I was as to what it was. I thought it was more like a digital advertisement or message board kind of a thing where you just post whatever you want that you think people might be interested in, and ask questions too of course.

So I went to the forum on a site recipezaar.com, and introduced myself and my blog. I had been involved on a few other sites before, and the reception had been warm and welcoming. I usually get great feedback back, with the occasional constructive criticism, all of which have really helped me to shape my blog into more of what I want it to be. Either way it has been fun to put myself out there and connect with people on a positive level.

So I introduced myself and Hot Garlic on the newcommers forum and met some great people who were welcoming as I had expected. I was encouraged, and the next day I thought I would post in some other categories. I found a recipe request forum. I saw that someone had done a shameless plug for their new recipe she was asking for other shameless plugs, so I listed my blog. I was then inspired to do a new thread of my own, and went and made a post about my blog, thinking this was the kind of thing that was perfectly expected and welcomed. I thought I was on a site full of hungry foodies looking for more, looking for what else is out there, looking for new ideas. It was really exciting.

Or, at least until I got my first email that said one of my posts on the forum had received a response. I quickly and excitedly clicked to open and see what had been said. I couldn't wait! I wasn't prepared to see the forum host calling me out, chiding me publicly for my shameless self-promotion. There it was, undeletable, in full view of everybody, and staring me in the face. It was like a kick in the teeth and a punch in the gut all at once.

Now that I realize what forums are and how they are used, I see things so clearly from her perspective. They must get this kind of thing all of the time, I think it can be a common misconception for many people. But isn't there a better way to handle these people than to humiliate them? I wrote back and it was smoothed over a bit, but I still was so sad that what I thought was this great idea turned out to be major drama. The next day there was another host calling me out as well, she even wrote "no thanks" to my blog at the end of her reply with a cute little winking emoticon next to it. It was so snide {she may have not meant it that way} and it was again like a personal attack.

It has been hard these past 2 days to realize how much I was in the wrong, despite my not knowing any better. I was completely ignorant to the protocol and broke the rules, but I didn't mean to or even know I was! Like I said, not only did I not think I was doing anything wrong, I thought my little advertisements would be welcome and people would be glad to find another outlet for their passion for food. To be so wrong, and be called on it, it's been completely humiliating. Especially where these are complete strangers and this is their first impression of me. They aren't like my friends or people who know me who can give me the benefit of the doubt.

I have been moping around the house for two days. But today it's done. I've allowed myself to grieve, and now I am purging myself of this. I once again can't believe how supportive Ben has been. He listened and validated me in a way no one else can. Instead of ranting about what idiots they are for getting on my case and being "rude" to me, which is not what I wanted to hear, he reitterated how easy a trap that was to fall into. He could plainly see where I was coming from, and that was all I needed. It is so great to have such a level-headed sounding board who doesn't get all riled up in drama. He is a great diffuser.

Anyway, it's been painful to say the least. Please tell me some one else out there has had to swallow their pride and claim defeat at some point in their life. Isn't harsh criticism combined with having to realize you were wrong almost the worst feeling in the world. We all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are. We want people to think the things we do and say are great. To hear that someone thinks otherwise is really, really hurtful. Any thoughts or stories? I'd love to wallow with someone else besides myself.

Jul 3, 2008

Happy {Birthday}

I'm not about to get all mushy on your ashes, but it is my BFF's Birthday {or atleast is was here yesterday, it's still going on there} and I just want to give him a shout-out.

He is such a great father and the kids just can't get enough of their Daddy. Laine is always saying {seriously, many multiple times a day} "I miss Daddy. I want him come home wif us" -pouty sad face ensues, violins play. She is daddy's girl all the way, and since day one he has been her #1 fan too. These two just can't get enough of each other.

Gabe is always asking for Daddy too, and has some meltdowns in the morning when it's time for him to go. He loves to wrassle and play with Dad and has now begun asking for him all day, on Laine's que.

As for me, we always eat at the restaurant I want to eat at, watch my favorite shows at night, go to movies I want to see. Ben understands that I am the woman, and so I need to get my way. Oh but I kid. But seriously, Ben is very thoughtful and generous with his will, which makes him the perfect husband. He really is very good to alway give in to keep the peace, and he is usually first to say "I'm sorry". He is a lot of fun too! The man comes up with some serious puns and one liners, I don't care what you say Jess!

Happy Birthday ya Bastage! I picked the photo where you look the best and I look not-so-good to show you how much I love you.
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