Tuesday, December 30, 2008


you read it right. my little blog. and it's not my ornery children that i'm giving away. nope, something else that i have a real passion for.

FOOD and eating out.

the sonora grill is located in ogden, utah at the new solomon center in ogden. it is really quite the happening little complex.

we ventured down there after it first opened. s.mac and i are friends with the owner. he and i have known each other since childhood and he and s.mac were buddies in high school.

i am used to utah mexican, which is its own variety. i love it, i do. but if you are looking for an experience and something very authentic, the sonora grill will give you that.

what do i love and can i describe it for you?

when we first went in we weren't sure what to expect. the building is beautiful with every art piece and fixture authentic to the area they patterned the cuisine after. everything there is authentic.

the cheese is other planet good. it is specific to the regional cuisine they serve. their beans smooth and light, the corn on the cob is a pleaser anytime. in fact, my "winds of love" got it yesterday, in the middle of winter, and it transported me to mid summer with the baby corn taste. awesome. the salsa is very different. it is not going to be your typical tomatoes and onions. it is a smoky morita salsa served alongside a lime salsa. i want to drink them both. the chips are perfection and the biggest thing i am a fan of, okay 2 things that rock my world.
the carne asada burrito and
the chicken quesadilla.

the meat in both are so incredibly seasoned and prepared, i can't get enough.

okay, okay, i'm lying. there's more. the carne asada quesadilla, the ceviche. what is ceviche? well, the one i like is their big rock shrimp ceviche. it has shrimp, cured in lime juice, with tomatoes, onion, mint and you must. i mean really, you must. you eat it with chips and oh, lawsy mercy, other planet good.

their lemonades are exquisite, everyday featuring a new flavor that transports you from rocky mountains to the islands. divine.

dessert - i am a huge fan of the banana split. vanilla bean ice cream with a grilled banana, pineapple, chocolate fudge with chocolate shavings on the top. we have to with hold the snorting while we gobble it up. my honesty begs me to tell you i have tried all of their desserts and you can't go wrong with one thing.

they also offer a variety of specials you can read about it here on their blog like early bird specials, free anniversary dinners, free birthday dinners, hello! also, they have a great room in the back that is private and can seat up to 10 people. i love this! we go out to eat with big groups often and i am always dreading the wait for a place that won't take reservations so a private eatery that is so willing to accommodate is a heaven send. these people are here to stay. that is one thing i look for in a restaurant, the service and how you feel when you go in. the owner is sure to be greeting every guest, filling water as well as telling you about avocados that he prepares table side when you order the out of this world guacamole. he is dedicated to the ogden area and his sweet wife is a trooper to let her husband serve us so much, really. they are dedicated to making your experience pleasurable.

have i not convinced you? here is their site HERE and here is another write up with fabulous pictures HERE.

the most gracious emily of the sonora grill contacted me and told me i could give away a gift certificate for $20 to one lucky winner. i know i have a lot of out of staters reading this blog and i also know you visit once in a while, so don't be shy! leave a comment in this post, we will close the give away on sunday, january 4 and i will announce the winner on monday. good luck to all of you!

p.s. add a link to their site on your blog and you will be cool. cuz i think it's pretty..........

Monday, December 29, 2008

my obsession...

is being cheap. i like a good deal.

my friend lori turned me onto this site tonight and i am a little, okay A LOT excited about this. they had these on the east coast and i am major excited to have this.

click here for the food co-op

i have been couponing on and off for the past year. last week i had a "cry in the store" experience with my now {not favorite store} and it makes me slow down in my intensity with couponing. it is a lot of work and i hate that sometimes i get so excited about .50 cent crackers and .50 cent toothpaste. i load up so much that when i go to fix dinner, we have to eat toothpaste crackers. i haven't figured out the balance yet. this co op is so cheap, plus the fresh veggies and fruits? this is my idea of heaven. also, since i have been couponing, i find us eating frozen food occasionally because it is so cheap and always on sale. I HATE FROZEN FOOD. s.mac had a professor that would use the phrase, "it'll kill you deader than hell". and that is how i feel about frozen food. it just can't be right. i even went thru a phase where i made a bunch of meals and froze them. i just couldn't eat them frozen. in fact, a perfectly good lasagna sits frozen in my freezer month after month because of my issue.

this tangent was brought to you so that you could check this site out, go and click here

Sunday, December 28, 2008

birthday love for my bud "e"

he's my little guy.

well, not so little anymore.

he's growing into his boy skin much, much too fast, one potty word at a time.
when i'd hold him as a baby, i couldn't believe how in love i was with a boy. there
is nothing quite like a little boy loving his mom. nothing.

he was the most quiet, sleepy baby ever. he loved, loved, loved his momma. that love got me thru a hard time in my life and i am so grateful i had him for that stage.

his strengths are his sleeping abilities. they have never ceased to amaze me. when he was little he was sleeping thru the night at the hospital. he had to be circumcised to awake after many cold baths and 11 hours of no waking up, that is how serious the boy takes his sleeping. as a toddler he would tell me, mom, it's time for a nap or bedtime, and then go put himself to bed. ahhh, this is a glorious perk.

always attached to me as a baby and now, growing into his big boy skin, gravitates towards legos, "guys", being naughty and star wars. always has. as a wee toddler, he told everyone the baby in my tummy {hella} was "bump bader" (darth vader). he has had light saber fixation since he turned 1. he has watched with intense interest and at 2 years old could tell you more about the star wars trilogy than george lucas.

he loves. loves and loves. he loves his sisters although days aren't complete without a right hook or a good tease. he has humor deep in his bones and likes to break out in song with hilarious lyrics often. this year, he told me the following,

"mom, santa doesn't really care if you are naughty or not. last year i said like a ton of potty words and i still got my DS (nintendo). so this year i don't think it really matters if i try to be good or not." he has it all figured out, little stinker.

i love him and adored him with transformers, a spidey man bike with training wheels and chocolate chip pancakes with buttermilk syrup. i plan on smooching him and telling him how it took a lot of love to get him here. a little waiting to have him in my belly and some salad tongs to pull his head out, i think i will limp all day to remember the bazillion stitches i had and how i couldn't walk or sit for 3 weeks. it was a big cranium........

that aside, i love how a little boy and his momma share a strong bond.

Friday, December 26, 2008

a.t.t.e. and b.u.t.t.

the discovery of the b.u.t.t. walker teacher game for her DS

needing some comfort when she tried to open presents that weren't hers, ahhh

the "santa" presents, one for each

a tired father on the "eve" of and proof that we do stick with 3 presents for each kid and 1 from santa....

when christmas morning came upon us, we were greeted with a little boy who had waited for this day for a long, long time.

the glowing jammies with motion activated lights on them, crawled into our bed at 5:00 AM. every time he turned or sniffed, the lights were in our face, reminding us that we have children in our house.

the bathroom break at 6:00 AM from "winds of love" was a welcome thing as she returned to her room and finished reading her book "the secret garden".

they knew what life would be like waking the "hella" baby. we HAD to wait until she awoke on her own. HAD TO. she is like a hibernating bear disturbed mid way thru when her sleep is interrupted. and...

she kept waking up every hour crying "no santa" repeatedly. scared to death of the jolly man, she was petrified when everyone we ran into told her of tales of the jolly man coming to her house while she slept. petrified.

"hella" woke up at 8:10 am. a long wait for a "lighted" brother and reading sister. they ran in and it was a flurry of wrapping paper and shrills of delight.

"bud e" scored with an AT TE walker from the clone wars movie. hella was just as excited for this and kept yelling "sta bors" (star wars), then.....

she found her stocking and sniffed the chocolate from her crib. she went into a classic potato bug stance all curled up and such, eating away at her chocolate santa. making sure no one would hover near, she stayed to herself until the jolly souls entire contents were in her christmas belly.


i hear "bud e" asking what is this star wars ship called again.

the AT TE walker bud, i kept replying.

in a moment when i was making crepes for the cheese blintzes, i heard bud "e" tell "winds of love" it was the b.u.t.t. walker. there are mostly boys in his preschool class and he has come home with a variety of new information. he doesn't know what it says, he just knows that we can't SAY that word at our house, never mind the spelling of it. and, you know, there are some of the same letters associated and all.

"winds of love" had a boring morning after the discovery that her parents were not "podders" and her most asked for and beloved IPOD of 2 years was not up their ally. that would require the assistance of a teenage auntie down the street. so, she had to wait and play with the b.u.t.t., i mean the AT TE.

all in all, a snowy day drenched in the tiredness only a parent can feel on christmas day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

this week alone we have already had at least 2 feet of this stuff and supposedly, christmas day is going to give us a "storm to remember".
happily i accept this gift of a white christmas, determined to get my coconut syrup and pancake mix and toppings out to the appropriate homes. if i don't, why then what a great feast for us to eat all christmas day.
may your day be real merry and bright, we will throw a snowball for you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

her condensed version...

she is really unlike any of my other babies. she has done things her own way and her own style. she has a dresser full of frilly jammies from her sissy and new ones from her motha. but.....

she likes to wear bud "e"'s tops and her "skinny pants" to bed. she also loves the 1960 and 1970 school chairs we picked up at the antique shop the other day.

her speech.

she condenses everything. while "winds of love" was speaking in complete paragraphs by this age, bud "e" was whipping out sentences and such, little miss "hella" repeats and condenses.

mom, mom, MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM
pointing all the while.

gum, gum, GUM, GUM mommy mommy, gum mommy MOMMY GUM.


make, make bed (bread) MAKE MOMMY MOMMY

i turn my kitchen aid on and it is like a magic wand to attract fat chubby toddler feet a running. she eats the weekly bread dough in gobs and i have to hustle to get it in the pans or else large chunks from chubby fists are mysteriously missing.

last week after the beloved church party, she kept repeating
"kiw santa, kiw santa."

using my best detective skills i tried for 3 hours to decode what i thought was "kill santa"

she trembles something awful at the sight of his "big hat" (in her words). she just starts shaking and rolls like a potato bug into a ball in hopes of camouflaging herself from the jolly soul.
after chalking the kill santa remark to playing "guys" with bud"e" too much, i figured out she was saying scare santa, scare santa. phew, that was a relief. no slaughtering on christmas little "hella" only love. pure love.

i am hoping one day soon she will start developing her language so we can work on her tantrums and anger. i need to start working on my therapist skills so i can get to the root of the anger that manifested from the instant she was born. screaming, screaming from the birth canal. after 3 hours of screaming my dad came to the hospital and was able to calm her down and get her to sleep. the nurses kept commenting on her anger, whew. i wonder if they knew it would still be going on 2 years later.

on the bright side of a "hella" child.....

she loves much. i am the subject of many smoochy coochies. my innocent lips all vulnerable in public settings only to be attacked by hers at crazy moments. church, grocery store - never at the appropriate time when you have just expressed your love to her or you are having a tender moment. no, that is usually when a face smack comes around. but i will take grocery store lovin, church meeting smooches and all that come with her, such a new experience for me.....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my mother heart...

you know what is deep inside of you that tells you when to start your family, when the next one should come and that there may be more waiting, just for you. the kind word you feel the need to offer to a person in need, the words of encouragement only you can say just so to the person that needs you and that powerful need to feed people {okay, i realize that is harder to come by now aunt bea is not as revered as she used to be}.

that is what i call the mother heart.

my admission of being a young "girl" when my mother heart started shouldn't surprise anyone. 22 is a young age to have a baby. every part of me wanted her and knew it was certainly "she" waiting to come. and then a "he". i could feel him. and then the "her". i just knew. deep down. it certainly seemed funny to think of what i wanted. because. how can we change what god determines? sometimes do you wonder if you accepted the calling of a mother before you came? i do, and there is nothing that i wouldn't do to make good on that promise to those spirits and an all magnificent creator.

what about having children is something a normal, sane person would find convenient or normal by any one's standards? in this selfish country in the which we all set as a fatted calf, we certainly take on entitlement. especially in the area of family. more and more i hear so much about convenience and what is going to be easiest.

maybe in my parenting years i have been on a planet set aside for the crazys. it is the hardest job i have ever done, hence why i know we are not done. i know i have things to learn that only the humility of wanting and having a babe placed in your arms can bring.

no lesson ever taught in my young life has ever brought the learning curve that being a mother 3 times over has. there is nothing like the helpless feeling of being so overly tired, physically drained and then on the exact opposite spectrum, the feelings of extreme highs that smiles, hugs and kisses bring. there is no "thing" i could buy that feels like meeting a baby for the first time, mine or another. no love felt greater when a desperate plea to be "with" child is granted.

i remember seeing the positive sign on that stick and knowing what i knew all along. i wanted to be a mother, knew i would and would do whatever it took to hold those babies in my arms, be it by the physical sacrifice of another or my own. it confirmed years of faith i had to have being unmarried and being told the "chances" are slim, your body is broken.

there is no feeling like that of being ready to start the journey of bringing another baby into your home and starting that process. for some it is a journey of an "emotional pregnancy" with a physical pregnancy absent. i firmly believe it brings about the same lessons and the same feelings that make the "mother heart" come alive. for some, it is the lessons learned from waiting a lifetime and simply showing faith.

sixteen years old, things going in the wrong direction for a doctor to deem my body "normal". but, yet, thru the years of new pills, new drugs, another surgery, another road block, i knew it would come to pass. something deep inside told me i would be a mother. it was planted young but so strongly, maybe this is why my passion runs deep.

as mothers we discover who we are, why we were put in the "here and now" and what we have yet to do to grow a little more, be a little better - line upon line.

so, with this admission, let me tell you phrases that make me sad.
we are so done. __ is plenty for me
we don't have near enough money to have kids.
i am tired and i am done.

the thing i find the most humor in is when people say "i want a boy or girl next". i have fallen victim to this plague. really, i think things work too well in this universe for us to be giving the orders.......

and humor... have you ever read more that one entry of mine? yes, humor is a wonderful blessing granted from someone who has obviously gone thru parenting before. i would be lost without humor in the world of speech impediments, dirty diapers gone wrong {how much could be right about one in the first place?}, laundry that only a kid can dirty and all of the labor intensive meals thrown in the trash.

the best part about a mother heart?

it is unique and every body gets theirs one way or another, kids or no kids, wives or not. i love finding out what cultivates a mother heart in the strong women in my life. i surely have wonderful support and good strength in the mother hearts that surround me.

there, you have it.

how i feel about mother hearts, parenting and kids.

and just so you know, we aren't "done". when i lay in bed at night, i haven't kissed all the lips i'm supposed to........

Monday, December 8, 2008

the phases

my kids go thru sure keep me up at night.

bud "e" is just filled with hate lately. i mean, maybe he is just getting his boy skin. i have 4 brothers, i know the severity of a little boy. they all kept telling me i lucked out with bud "e", generally he is very mild....

although, there was this phase in his early toddlerhood when he had to claw. just get his chubby little fingers and clamp them down on someone's unsuspecting cheeks for no reason. he was never angry when he did it, just curious.

one time we came back from a Friday night date only to find he had mangled the face of his good friend L. i mean mangled. blood all over and tears. bud"e" just had this dumb look on his face like "what?" (one time L made a small attempt at a scratch when we were babysitting and we didn't do a thing, we told bud"e" it was payback)

it was so bad once we were in the jogging stroller {aka kid cage}with both kids that we had to glove bud"e" s hands and tie rope around the gloves so he couldn't rip them off. he somehow managed to get our contraption loose, so we had to keep his hands tied to the safety belt. sigh.

then there was last year. the naughty word phase. whenever he got frustrated {mostly when he had to go potty} the words flew. butt, butt head, fart, stupid, poopy head, poo. i was laughing so hard most of the time i had to hide my face while on the timeout countdown. he has spent a lot of time in time out.

as of late, christmas is getting him down. i will find him with his head down between his hands and ask him if he is okay and he says "yeah, i am just thinking about the lego star wars i want for christmas, i want it so bad i have to think hard about it."

yesterday he woke up i a fowl mood. i asked him what was wrong and he told me he had a dream santa brought him the wrong thing and he was so mad ALL DAY.

reasoning does no good.

how do you handle your boys mothers?

time out is not working so well, he was in 4 consecutive time outs the other day and it didn't do a thing. i have tried taking away his toys but he doesn't care. i told him we would tell santa not to bring him anything and that makes him cry and i feel mean. even the letter from santa that came out of the north pole, alaska specifying how he should not act only worked for a day....

maybe someone could volunteer a deep voice with a jolly laugh and a phone call.....

Friday, December 5, 2008

one wave was all it took....

saturday, we were sitting in the parking lot of maverick trying to figure why the red box was not giving the kidlets the movies we reserved online. frustration, tears and "oh mom, i just waited my whole life to watch star wars clone wars".


as we were pulling away i saw a white bearded man sitting in a late 90's model honda odyssey. he waved and i said to my non believing 4 year old, "hey, santa just waved to me."

what, are you serious? they were scrambling and screaming, where, where.

santa was chuckling. i am sure it is a common occurrence.

they finally got their glimpse and a wave, squealing ensued.

oh man mom, he really is real - bud.e jubilantly screaming.

for weeks he keeps telling me that santa is not real. it is just you guys, you go to wal mart and buy our presents. santa doesn't bring them, he's too fat. and plus, that's impossible to go to the whole world, it's so stupid.

growing into his boy skin he is. myself and my ever believing "winds of love" keep telling him, santa only comes to those who believe.

with one wave at the maverik,why, now he's a believer. after all it's much more plausible that the jolly soul lives by us, yep.....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

what i am loving as of late...

i loved every minute of this! i am a bing crosby girl by the way. he was so cool and collected and i loved the whole concept of this. could their leading lady be any more lovely, classy and beautiful? the best part, the action loving red head was in the other room watching Rocky - translation, we were both happy.

This is how we ring in Christmas on thanksgiving at our house. i love this tradition. the red head however. well, we disagree. he would rather see something more in the "now" and thinks it is weird we all gather for this movie. he played video games downstairs with the kiddos which was just fine by me. {i think i wanted every dress i saw in the movie this year!}

and although not festive, oh - gregory took my heart to Rome in this one. oh, he was so. mmmm. anyway. i was not sure how i would feel about it as i grew up with him being Addicus Finch as we watch to kill a mocking bird every fall, but i was so pleasantly surprised, and Audrey? beautiful.

topping the list of my oddities stems my great stomach ache from watching any movie that currently plays. i find them full of smut and i HATE that! i must have missed my time era and should have been born 50 years ago. s.mac just laughs as he is a true cinema lover, he was raised going to see movies and i was not. funny how we cross that bridge in marriage. i am grateful that is our biggest complaint!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

vintage love

this discovery was made as i took my mountain man brothers camera to my grandpa's house. in grandpa's final hours, i felt a deep need to snap shots of every nook and cranny of their house while he was still living.


they were homebodies, they loved their house and you felt warm just thinking about a visit.


i snapped away on this beautiful camera on one of the final sunsets of his life. took my baby brother with me. just how he left it was what i wanted to get, we knew he wasn't coming home.

click, click and click.

thru the house, thru the tears. the neighbor asking where pete had gone. it was his birthday soon, he had to be home to celebrate that. then, i cried and i could hardly tell her where her neighbor was.

so, i took pictures of the sunset from his house and wandered back in to his spare room in the basement. wanting to hide. then, i found this beautiful buffet in a corner, needing new life.
and i knew it was okay to ask, does anyone want this. i found that grandpa had been trying to get rid of it, trying to get it to the DI to no avail.

i needed this, i had been scouring vintage stores trying to find an old buffet i could redo and use for a TV stand. i am not a fan of entertainment centers, i would rather have a "piece" to house our electronics.

so it sets, in my garage.

the top layer has been stripped, waiting for me to decide if it should be white and chic, or a new beautiful stain put on, deep mahogany......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

opening pandoras box

or your christmas box.(es)

i was feeling tired from the festivities involving turkey and other food enhancements.

tired, and sleepy. thanksgiving eve found us with a determined girly who didn't want to lay flat in her crib. i mustered up my patient mom tactics and rocked her gently in the recliner until 1:30am. then.
i gave up. the red head wanted a turn. he made a beautiful bed of pillows on the couch. propping her up perfectly so whatever fear of lying flat she had was overcome instantly. instead of having me sleep on the couch whilst the other 2 slept in the bed, the red head slept on the floor. yes, i kissed him upon my discovery.

when i took over the early am shift of holding and soothing, i discovered evidence of a ruptured ear drum. one side telling me there was a reason beyond stubbornness we were propped up all night. then. your mother heart goes all crazy with guilt that you didn't pull out every stop to know there was an infectious ear {later to discover both ears} involved.

oh, the life of a 3rd child.

seeing as we were going to be home bound for the weekend, s.mac decided it was high time to put christmas out. yes- high time. seconds passing away since the departure of thanksgiving. yes, high time i tell you.

my crazy mind has to have certain places for my stuff to go or i get all frustrated and ornery. so, i let him do it. this current residence is a new set up and different than we have ever had before. pretty soon they were all involved, chipping away at the mess of rubbermaid totes and such. a baby jesus here, a donkey there, maybe some stockings here. oh, their hearts were in it.

then, "winds of love" summoned me to her room. she had something to show me.

there it was on her dresser, all adorned with ornaments with no rhyme or reason. so proud. and then a little voice came to my mind, sweet little grandma-busy on the other side, happy, chuckling because "hella" was going nuts over a little bird on the tree. i could hear her famous,"oh what a sweetheart" in my ear.
this was the christmas tree grandma and grandpa used that "winds of love" gathered so diligently on the day we dispersed all of their "stuff". this was the tree they used for years, with all of the little ornaments grand kids wanted to see displayed. a bird here, a paper tree there. this was the tree grandpa put up alone, without his sweetheart for 2 years. this was the tree that saw them through their final christmases together. caught glimpses of their last "seasonal" time on earth. and there was grandma, right there. laughing and looking at the new life this tree would get. and, somehow the christmas spirit came alive for me.

new life given.

it is going to be a good christmas at this house....