Book Review

Last night, Casey and I finished James and the Giant Peach. This is our third Roald Dahl book in a row and I foresee us reading more in the near future. I remember first reading this book in sixth grade in our enrichment reading class. We all took turns reading aloud and there were a few occasions where the caterpillar called the other bugs "ass" and we all lost our minds and giggled uncontrollably because we got to read a curse word. Clearly I am a potty mouth at home because this word went right over Casey's head. I couldn't remember much about the book but I definitely forgot about the weird cloud people making rainbows and storms high in the sky. It's such a fun story about a boy escaping an unhappy home and making new and unusual friends while on an otherworldly adventure atop a magical peach. I have really enjoyed Dahl's books because they have some dark qualities while being simultaneously very silly. As we watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on Sunday night, it was delightful to hear the late, great Gene Wilder speak that very specific Dahl gibberish of nonsense words as if it was the most normal thing he did that day. There is a certain joy in sharing such special things from my childhood with my son and I can't wait to do it again with my daughter when she is old enough to appreciate it.


Weekend Pics

 We saw all the new babies at the zoo.
 This is Christa's favorite animal. I want one. We also hunted Pokemon.
 The afternoon at home was spent in the back yard playing with squirt guns and bubbles. Mabel will attack both with unbridled glee and determination.
When they wait for Husband to throw the ball, Mabel climbs on Betty's shoulders.
 On Sunday we hit up a new-to-us water park in Oak Park.
Afterwards, we witnessed a violent altercation at McDonald's where the cashier's dad got in a fight with an unruly customer. The guy tried to run him over with his truck and chased him with a hammer. I got to call 911. Good times.
 After nap, Christa decided to make a mud bath.
She is a hoot.
 Then we had fish dinner, got the kids milkshakes and played for a bit. Then I got a tutorial from a ten year old on how to play Pokemon Go and really felt like I hit peak mom status.
I love these damn kids.


Haiku Friday

What a bear this week! 
Finally over my cold
Kids are well again
Birthday behind us
And nary a plan in sight
This weekend is free
If the weather's nice
Maybe swimming or the beach
Or just staying home


9 years

Nine years ago, I met the man of my dreams face to face for the first time.
We had a great day together but didn't know what was in store for us.
He was freshly out of a long term relationship with a live-in girlfriend. 
I was with someone in the loosest possible sense of a relationship.
Now look at us. Thanks, Blogger.

Poop Cake!

The story behind this cake is that I asked Casey what kind of party he wanted to have - my mom loves a theme - and he said he wanted an emoji party. I found some party plates on Amazon and recruited my friend T-Lo to make a poop cake because what is more awesome to a six year old than poop? 
On Tuesday night she delivered this masterpiece and I just could not wait to get that saran wrap off to see it in all of its glory.
On Wednesday morning I asked Casey if he'd like to see his cake and boy did he laugh. He said "I thought it was an ice cream emoji but it's poop! Poop cake!" and then he laughed some more.
Last night we got to unwrap it and it was everything I could have imagined it to be. It was chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate cake and chocolate between the layers. Poop cake!
I'd say it was a success. Here is the birthday boy with his cousins. There is still PLENTY of cake left. My goodness.


Happy Birthday, Casey!

 Going home from the hospital.
 1 year old
 2 years old
 3 years old
 4 years old
 5 years old
And here he is on the morning of his sixth birthday. He's a big first grader now who reads to me very well. He loves riding a scooter, "working out" with his dad, baking and cooking with me, watching cartoons with his sister and harassing the dogs. Lately he always seems to be carrying a sword. He's obsessed with Disney Infinity on the PS4. He's generous with hugs and kisses but forgets how big he is sometimes and can hurt you with the enthusiastic love he gives. He laughs hard and loves harder. I'm so proud of the big boy he has become and look forward to seeing what the year ahead will bring.


Date Night!

On Saturday night we went for sushi dinner and shopping at Salzer's video. The food was delicious and I got six Disney DVDs for $50
Then we waited in a long line for a long time to get into Levity Live to see Jo Koy. Husband insisted I take this picture of our wrists and was very specific that I post it to Instagram in black and white like we're a couple of club kids.
We got great seats and texted this photo to BFF. Then they had a contest where you could put a selfie on Instagram with a whole bunch of @ and # and they would pick a winner to meet Jo Koy after the show. After this I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Well guess what?! We won! We got free tee shirts, a DVD and got pushed to the front of the VIP line where Jo Koy took a selfie of us and I got to tell him that thanks to his comedy, BFF has been calling me Joseph for a super long time. He responded with "Ah, I love you!" and I left a very happy girl. I laughed so hard throughout his show that I thought I would die and I ached the next day in my sides and on my face. Plus Husband and I stayed up way past our bedtimes and remembered how old we were when the children woke us up at the crack of dawn on Sunday. The End.


Weekend Pics

 Watched this movie with terrible subtitling.
 Let the kids really feel at home at Kohl's
 Beats by Dre, ya heard?
 The future Mr. & Mrs.
 Accessorized Crazy Guy with the Side Eye
 Nacho Fries. YUMZ
 Auntie Ang & Sasha baked Casey a pre-birthday cake.
He's very spoiled.
Fire Friday, our newest addition. That's his moss ball.


Haiku Friday

My re-fi went through
Straightening my finances
Feeling all grown up
But the best thing is
I gave Maria a raise
For raising my kids
Gotta spread the wealth
My goal is to be "debt free"
By October's end


1st Day of School

 Casey started 1st Grade today. I love his style. 
He is in room 21 with Ms. Wilson.
Sissy - who is 2 and a half today! -  really wanted in on the picture taking so I told them to say "cheese" but they made these really depressed faces so I said "maybe try a happy face instead" and they did this. Goofballs.


Ol' Blue Eyes

At his last pediatrician visit, the nurse gave Casey the chart eye exam. He didn't do great so the doctor thought he might be on the cusp of needing glasses. He recommended an optometrist appointment. School starts on Thursday so we went this past weekend just in case the boy needed glasses. I don't know if you know this about me but I hate the eye doctor which is awesome for someone that has a freckle in her eye that needs monitoring and wears corrective lenses. The glaucoma test where the puff of air shoots into your eye is enough to make me cry tears of anxiety. Dentist? No sweat. But forget it with the eyeballs.
I love my son beyond measure but his attention span rivals that of a gnat and he simply has no focus. If he sits still for longer than a minute I am truly stunned. This applies to meal time where he needs to be reminded about every minute to sit still and eat. Even while watching TV or going to a movie, he is in constant motion. I read somewhere that Tylenol during pregnancy leads to ADD in children and I really started to wonder if I was just popping bottles of it when he was baking in me. I know what you're thinking as you read this; Randi, he's five, that's how kids are. I get that. Doesn't change the fact that he's a distracted little squirmy worm.
The other aspect of this whole reading an eye chart is the fact that Casey just started reading. He struggled all through Kindergarten with writing his numbers and letters backwards. As I listened to him read the chart aloud, he would frequently confuse a capital R with A and S with Z. I don't think this has anything to do with vision. There is also the aspect of telling a small child "Can you read me the smallest line you can see?" I think that is a fairly deep concept for a child to grasp rather than, say, "can you read all the lines, start with the top and go down?" The optometrist was also pretty surprised the tech had him do the more complicated field vision tests because kids Casey's age can't really grasp what's going on.
At the end of the exam the doctor seemed to be on the same page I was. He said there was some slight nearsightedness that could be set right with dilation. Seeing as Casey is already full of anxiety at any doctor because of dreaded SHOTS, the last thing I felt like doing was traumatizing him with eye drops and dilation. The doctor agreed. He asked us to come back in a year and make sure iPad time was limited and that he didn't hold things he reads too closely to his eyes. The joys of parenting are sometimes more than I can bear. I'm so glad the child doesn't need glasses, we just need to work on some self-control it seems.


Ventura County Fair Pics!

 We squeezed the German between the kids and we were off!
 How cute is our wee family!?
 California Cowboy
 I couldn't be more pleased with this, her outfit is everything.
 She was giving that bull the what for, telling it to "Go'way!" like she does with Betty.
 Here she said "I Keesa, you a Horsie"
 Sharing Ice Cream
My lunch of a hot dog wrapped in spiraled potato 
 Deep Fried Oreos Before
Deep Fried Oreo Inside. YUM
My girl and I and the traditional tiny donut purchase.


Haiku Friday

He who shan't be named
That psycho running for prez
Perplexes me so
Is it all a trick?
An ignorance expose? 
GOP take-down?
He's truly exposed
Disgusting Americans
So many of them


Back to Back Book Reviews

It has taken me nearly three months of sometimes committed, sometimes sporadic reading to finish Haruki Murakami's 1Q84. This was quite an undertaking for my first Kindle read but I am pleased and proud for sticking to it. I saw the physical book in the bookstore and it had to be at least two inches thick and very close to a thousand pages long. Now that I've completed the book, I have to ponder whether its length was truly necessary. I am no literary genius and certainly not here to insult a book that was eloquently written and tremendously descriptive; just wondering if so many things needed to be described so thoroughly.
It will be very difficult for me to summarize the story but I'll give it the old college try. A young woman named Aomame finds herself transported from the year 1984 to some sort of alternate universe she dubs 1Q84; it is the same but different. Aomame is a fitness instructor/hired assassin doling out vigilante justice to men who do bad things to women on behalf of a wealthy dowager. Another character named Tengo, to whom Aomame is tied through childhood, is talked into dubiously ghost-writing a novel written by a strange girl named Fuka-Eri about Little People called Air Chrysalis. In publishing this tale, they expose the secrets of a religious cult whose leader is posed to be assassinated by Aomame for crimes against young girls. The goal of the book is ultimately to reunite Tengo and Aomame, who had lost touch twenty years prior, and have them escape of the danger posed by the land of two moons. Crazy right?
All that being said, I found this book to be very intriguing. The characters were extremely developed and deeply explored. Because 1Q84 is three books compiled into one, there are many sub-stories that are intricately entwined, each told from the perspective of several characters. Though guilty of being a bit too wordy and perhaps straying at times toward the mediocre in the sense of detail, it absolutely kept my interest. Would I recommend it? Hard to say. You have to be willing to really commit to this book but I can say it was tied up nicely for the most part, except for the story that could potentially still be left to be told.