Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The playground

Yesterday was the first warmish day in a long time. When the high is only 6 degrees, people flock to be outdoors when the temperature reaches 35 and the sun comes out. Nebraska winters make Salt Lake City feel like southern California.

The last time Maximus went to the park, he was only able to crawl and couldn't really do much. Now that he's walking and jogging around the house, I jumped all over the opportunity to take him to the playground. I bundled him up and away we went to the elementary school we live near. Once we got there, I took him out of his stroller and set him down in the wood chips that surrounded the playground equipment. A little girl and her dad were playing, and Max froze. He stood there for what seemed like 10 minutes! The little girl asked, "Can your baby walk?" Finally Handsomer went wild. He just took off! He was focused on picking up wood chips on one side of the playground and putting them on the other side. I took him up on the jungle gym thing and he paced the little bridge several times. He even slid down the slide. We spent an hour playing and we left after his little nose turned an odd shade of purple and I was shivering. He had a great time and so did I.
This is what he did for the first little while.
He's more interested in the wood chips than the playground toys.

The bridge to handsomeness.

As we were leaving, we walked past one of the classrooms and I noticed this:

This isn't a high school, it's an elementary school! I never thought I'd see something like this, especially when we live in the "ritzy" neighborhood. I'm against homeschooling, but seeing a "no gun" sign next to a holiday decoration makes me want to keep Maximus home as long as possible.

Here's a video of Handsomer being busy...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two reasons why little boys shouldn't run around naked

At least he did this in his own bathroom. (Don't click on the picture if you're disgusted by poo)

One more

Maximus is in love with his popper toy. He uses it like a little vacuum and it's so cute to see him walking around with it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas from Maximus!

Santa Handsomer on Christmas Eve.

This is the New York style cheesecake I created the day before. Jesse and his brothers get pretty ridiculous about this stuff, but I personally can't stand the taste of it. I'm glad I made it because I got many "ooh's" and "ahh's" over it. This is the cake naked...
...and this is the cake scored and dressed.
This is really just a picture of our beautiful new tv. It's a Samsung with the red frame. That's all I care about. Contact Jesse for all the specs. But I do like this picture of our little family. (Why didn't anyone tell me that my hair looked like ass?!)
After Maximus went to bed, Jesse built the wagon that "Grandsanta" got him and we filled it with gifts. I never thought I'd say that Christmas is 100 times more enjoyable when you have a kid, but it is. I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

And here's what makes it worth it. That's a smile and giggle behind the dodo! (That's what we call pacifiers.)
And here's Jesse and Handomer opening his first basketball hoop.

Max got a popper toy thing. His Grandma bought it before Halloween and it's been hiding in his closet since then. He wouldn't let go of it the whole morning. He held it so tightly while he opened his other gifts. Today, he walked around with it squealing.
Those who know me know that I love my wine. I'll talk to anyone about varietals and vineyards who wants to listen. I'm growing a collection of wine that are too expensive and special to open. I had about 12 bottles stacked on a small 6 bottle rack...not good! Jesse's parents went overboard and bought me a chilled wine cellar. I unwrapped the box it came in and honestly fought back the tears. I turned off the lights in the kitchen tonight and turned on the one to the wine refrigerator. Oh god, I broke out in song. Max was running around naked before his bath and was drawn to the glow of my collection. And yes, that's a pink Rabbit wine key on top.
Christmas was truly awesome. Seeing Maximus' smile made it the best ever. It was such a wonderful morning. We woke up and did the typical gift thing, but then Jesse made Maximus and I breakfast and we just hung out. I could cry with happiness thinking about how happy I am to have our little family. We hung out in our pajamas all morning and then Jesse and I played Trivial Pursuit and drank coffee while Max napped. We met up with Jesse's family later that afternoon. It was the best Christmas ever and I look forward to many more. Can I just say that I truly love my family?!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Toilet paper

Yesterday I was wrapping Christmas gifts in the kitchen and Maximus was just walking around being busy. He'll take something from the kitchen, put it in his room and grab a toy and bring that into the kitchen. He's always busy. Anyway, while I was wrapping I yelled out, "Handsomer! You're awfully quiet and we both know that means you're up to no good." I quietly walked through the house toward his bedroom and stopped when I heard him grunting in his bathroom. This is what I caught him doing. Notice his mouth. When he's preoccupied with something, he purses his lips.
When I gasped, he saw me at took off while holding onto the toilet paper. He hauled ass out of his bathroom and pushed me aside to get away.
It's just another day in the life of Handsomer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


On Tuesday night, I watched a program about children living with cancer. It highlighted the children living at St. Jude's Research Hospital. St. Jude's never turns a patient away and it doesn't cost the parents a thing. That way, children who are diagnosed with even stage 4 cancer can receive the treatment they deserve. I believe they deserve it because they're children. And it's cancer. The children on the program were different ages, but a 3 year old and 15 month old really caught my attention. The 3 year old stated things simply, "I live at St. Jude's because I have Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and I'm too sick to go home." What 3 year old says that?! The 15 month old boy had leukemia and wore a mask while he ran down the hallways giving the nurses high-fives. I bawled my eyes out during the entire program.

I've beat stage 3 cancer. It was hard enough being diagnosed at 23 and enduring daily chemotherapy...but I wasn't a child. This really put things into perspective for me. I seriously want to return all the Christmas gifts we've purchased and give to those kids and their families instead. Or volunteer at a homeless shelter dishing up their Christmas meal. That's way I grew up. We surfed on Christmas morning, went to downtown Los Angeles and gave out toys to homeless children and shoes to the adults, then hit a movie that night. Sure, it was different, but I'll never forget those memories.

I can't get these thoughts out of my head. I need to get my son into the holiday tradition of giving to and helping those who aren't as fortunate as he is. Those poor children living with cancer are going through things that adults shouldn't ever have to go through.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I was tagged.

Go to the 6th folder on your computer then post the 6th picture from it. Then tag 6 friends. Here's what I came up with...this picture was taken at the Trapp Door (my favorite gay bar in Salt Lake City) and from left to right it's Quinn, me and Taylor. Quinn is a very good friend of Jesse and I hired Taylor at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center years ago. Taylor and I instantly clicked and he's one of the people I miss terribly since we've moved from Salt Lake. His boyfriend, Mario is a dream come true as well. Quinn is...just Quinn. You have to know him to understand. (I dragged him to the gay bar and he protested until he got free drinks)

I tag: Amanda, Katie, Courtney, Carly and anyone else.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beyond freezing

I just checked the weather online for our location in Nebraska and it turns out Jesse was right...it's too cold to snow. We've had some, but the weather station said it's currently -2, but with the wind it feels like it's -27! How the hell do you live in cold like this?! I'm convinced that it's impossible to breathe if one steps outside. I guess this is why stores actually sell ski masks. And I thought it was just a mask to wear when one robs a convenience store. Poor, poor Jesse will be working OUTSIDE in this nonsense. I don't know how. I guess the drive to provide for his family powers him through the cold. What a good guy, eh?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vacation cancelled

We cancelled our trip to Salt Lake. We had our sweet suite booked downtown and I just cancelled our reservation. Our trip was planned for January 2-6, but it looks like we'll be moving at the end of January/beginning of February. We didn't want to spend a lot of money during the holidays, buy a new tv, take our usually expensive Salt Lake vacation and then have to move out of state. But here's the rad thing...we don't know where we'll be moving! I hope, hope, hope that the St. George thing works out because we'd be closer to home. And then we can actually see some of people we've been missing. I'm bummed, but I know it's the smartest decision. Rats.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The best thing in winter

I made french onion soup last night. It turned out so well that Jesse lowered his head closer to the bowl and made an odd humming noise while he ate it. We had the soup with steak, crab stuffed mushrooms and steamed vegetables. If anyone has a rad food processor (like I do!) and some time, make this recipe. It's an easy version and it doesn't take all day to make.

French Onion Soup (an easy version):
1 clove garlic
2 shallots
1 Spanish onion
1 red onion
2 leeks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 turns of the pot extra virgin olive oil
dash of sea salt
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
4-5 cups beef stock (or mushroom stock)
freshly ground pepper
2 big pinches of Asiago cheese
1 small cube of Gruyere cheese
a pinch of Jarlsberg cheese (omit if you can't find this and use fresh Parmesan instead)
2 slices of french bread or pumpernickel
Finely chop garlic with shallots. Slice onions almost into julienne. Finely slice leeks and mix all together and put aside.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion mixture and stir to coat with butter and olive oil. Lower the heat, cover loosely and allow the onions to cook over low heat for 10-12 minutes to soften. Add the salt and stir to combine and cook the onion mixture over low heat for 25-35 minutes to caramelize, stirring every 4-5 minutes. The onions should become the color of toffee. Sprinkle with the flour. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring. While stirring, add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered, for about 30 minutes. Add pepper and taste and adjust seasonings.
While the soup is cooking, grate the Asiago, Jarlsberg (or Parmesan) and Gruyere. Put aside.
Slice the bread and brush with olive oil and rub with a crushed glove of garlic. Toast in a 400 degree oven until golden and crispy.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls topped with a slice of toasted bread and a sprinkling of the cheese blend. Place the bowls under the broiler until cheese has melted over the sides and is bubbly.
And the BEST beverage to enjoy with this...1554 by New Belgium. It's one of my favorite beers and it pairs well with a soup like this and beef.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Signifcant Other tag"

Thanks Courtney!

1.Where did you meet?
Liquid Joe's in Salt Lake City.

2. How long did you date before you got married?
We're STILL dating and it's been 2 and a half years.

3. How long have you been married?

4. What is your favorite feature of his?
His smile lines and all things that make him "dreamy"...his handsomeness, his height, the way he dresses and smells, his gigantic hands, his shyness, his blue eyes, etc.

5. What is your favorite quality of his? Jesse truly a good man. Although he's not as friendly and outspoken as I am, he's considerate, kind, loyal, warm-hearted and ethical. He's truly a good person.

6. Does he have a nickname for you?

7. What is his favorite color?
Blue...sometimes red.

8. What is his favorite food?
He told me tonight that he really loves the steaks he grills. They're even better than the $60 steaks I used to sell at Spencers For Steaks & Chops. But he loves Cafe Rio in Salt Lake, too.

9. What is his favorite sport?
Football. Can you take a wild guess as to which team is his favorite?

10. When and where was your first kiss?
My house after our third date.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
My favorite thing to do is make dinner together and dine with Maximus. We are able to have sit down meals every night of the week and that's important to me. Jesse would say his favorite thing to do is watch a movie together since I'm rarely able to sit still through one. I think we'll both look forward to spending time with mutual friends when we go back to Salt Lake. We both talk about having friends over all the time.

12. Do you have any kids?
Yes, we have a super-baby named Maximus who is taking over the world at 10 months old.

13. Does he have a hidden talent?
He's an electrician. A heavy industrial electrician and in my book, that's an art form. He's also a PROFESSIONAL KNITTER.

14. How old is he?
He's 27 for 5 more days.

15. Who said "I love you" first?
He did! But by the time he was saying, "you", I was already blurting it out too!

16. What is his favorite type of music?
He likes Rise Against and Jack Johnson. He likes most music though.

17. What do you admire most about him?
He's a far better person than I could ever hope to be. I know it sounds sappy, but it's true.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas grinch

Maximus met Santa today. Max was second in line to meet him and when his turn came, I set him down expecting him to walk toward the cute little man in the red suit...but he froze. I picked him up and set him on Santa's lap and Maximus pretty much flew off the deep end. He wailed his little ass off and it broke my heart, but we couldn't help but laugh. (Click on the top picture to get a closer look of the pure terror on Handsomer's face)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bennett Lane Maximus wine

Max's name is Maximus Lane Sherwood. Jesse's mom told me about a wine Emeril Lagasse was talking about. Or was it Blaine Jelus? Anyway, she told me that the name of the wine had Maximus and Lane on the label. My first thought? "Must have it. No matter the price. Must order it online even if Jesse freaks out about the cost." The maker is Bennett Lane and the varietal is a feasting wine named MAXIMUS! I clicked "add to cart" within seconds of locating it online. It arrived this morning and I'm so happy to have it in my collection. What other wine lover can find a wine that is ranked a 93 that has their kids first and middle name on the label?! I felt proud thinking that Bennett Lane named their blend after my son, but it's a 2005 and Max was born in 2008, so I think I'm the one who named my kid after a bottle of red.

And here's King Handsomer himself. He's happy that I found it and says, "thanks Grandma!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Button in the bowels

Long story short, Maximus ate a button last night. Jesse said Max would eventually poop it out and not to worry. Me? Worry? Never. This morning Handsomer was grunting and shaking as his face turned red from trying to fill his pants. (Sorry to those of you without an earthy sense of humor - I think talking about poo is still pretty funny) I took him to his doctor and what do ya know...A BUTTON IS LODGED IN HIS BOWELS!!! His doctor took a few x-rays and you could see the button surrounded by gray stuff. The doctor said that he's pretty "backed up" because of where the button is sitting. It's sad because he's uncomfortable, but it's funny because his doctor used the term "he really needs to shit". He crashed out when we got home and I must say...the shoes he's wearing are the best! They're Robeez and they are well made and they don't slip off! Awesome.