Monday, July 8, 2013

Rice Cereal treats with Cashew Butter and Dark Chocolate

Here's a way to add a tiny bit of nutrition to this classic treat: 

3 cups rice cereal
14 large marshmallows
1 T butter
¼ c. nutbutter (I used cashew butter)
¼ c. chocolate chips or chunks (I used 70% dark Theo Chocolate)

Melt butter, nutbutter and marshmallows into goo like substance.  Add rice cereal and chocolate bits and press into 8x8 pan.

Good luck eating just one:)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deep Conversations with my Three Year Old

Me:  Our daffodils look like they are starting to die,
but they'll come back again next year.

3 y.o.:  Just like people do

Me: (with nervous expression) That's right.


3 y.o.: How's a body made?

Me: Well...

3 y.o.: You take bone, put skin on, add a brain and put pants on it.

Me: It looks like that's figured out. 


Me: Do you remember what it was like when you were born?

My 3 year old: I touched God.  There was a birthday cake.   
Does God have a face like me? Does he have a body?
Does he float in the sky in a rocket-ship?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dad's Day

"Behind the power-curve, let's press-on (as in we're on a road trip when I have to pee but he wants to keep driving) love you more, I'm so proud of you..."

These are some of the phrases I heard growing up, from a dad who chose to raise me.  What was he thinking??? I guess I was a cute kid. This was a dad who made me to camp, go to Disneyland and watch him and papaw chop wood and watch KungFu on Saturdays.  He subjected me to hours of John Wayne westerns but he watched Golden Girls with me sometimes too.  He funded my violin, voice, dance and piano lessons and finally told me to settle down and focus on "one" thing for awhile.  Unfortunately at the time that "one interest" was acting and focus, I did!  He also encouraged finishing college and having a "back-up" career plan.  Well he may have been on to something with that advice:)  He gave so much and worked so hard to take care of us, and I'm so grateful!  He set the bar pretty high for what a dad "should" be.

And then one day when I was a grown up, I met someone that kind of reminded me of him.  He was loyal and kind and liked to fix things for me.  I didn't realize at the time that I'd be making him into a "Dad" one day.  I guess it was really Henry who did that.  Alex is already a dad that Henry looks up to, does projects with, plants gardens with and watches Mythbusters with.  This morning we made pancakes for him and Alex gave Henry a ride in his new wheelbarrow and soon they'll be assembling the "present" we got him.

I'm lucky to have these two guys in my life.  They both continue to lift heavy things for me and subject me to t.v. shows that I don't enjoy.

Love you guys:)

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Mom,

I don't remember living in your belly or being held in your arms right after I was born.  But I know that I was there and that I was loved so much.

I do remember all the rides to speech and debate practice and all the bad plays you sat through.

I remember Disneyland in the rain, stomping on the bridge in Houk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and watching Sha na na with you.

I remember being held by you when Adam was here and after he moved toward heaven.

I remember seeing the pride, surprise, disbelief and awe when you watched me become a mother.

You've always been my mother and my best friend.

I didn't know it at the time, but all those years you were giving me to tools to become a good mom.  I only hope I can be as loving, compassionate and open-hearted as you have been.

I love you lots!  And Henry does too:)

Losing My Cool

I'm not talking about my temper. I'm talking about being a thirty six year old stay at home mom of a three year old. And how I'm now engulfed by the stench of corn and blueberry poop and a constant demand for string cheese, orange wedges and chocolate milk. I'm talking about living in the suburbs, in a ranch style house. I'm talking about using a crock-pot and cooking meat. I'm talking about a 9:00 p.m. bed-time, for me. I'm talking about having an engineer husband who thinks my big ideas always resemble an episode of “I Love Lucy”. And I'm not sure that's a compliment.

But I used to be kind of cool. I lived in New York City and worked at a movie theatre where I served popcorn to Nathan Lane, once.

And then, I lived in L.A. I smoked Marlboro menthol lights and drank vodka tonics at hole in the wall bars in Los Feliz. These bars were in the movie, Swingers, hello? I worked at a movie studio ushering recovering drug addicts into show tapings of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Moesha. I ate at campy-kitchy diners and felt brave enough to be the only woman to order fries and a shake instead of a salad. I hooked up with cute-commitment phobic artistic types. I auditioned and met agents and sent out lots of dorky (cool) head shots. I was on my way.

But after a few appearances as an extra and roles in student films, I started to feel wildly un-successful. I was already twenty four!

Perhaps I would see the world and get paid for it! My flight attendant training date was September 11, 2001. Well, due to a catastrophic terrorist event, that job sort of fell through.
So I moved to New Zealand to “study” English Literature and secretly hoped to find a kiwi husband and live on a sheep farm. How cool is that? But that didn't happen and one can only live on chicken chips and crunchy bars for so long.

After returning to L.A. I began working for a non-profit theatre program. I was producing theatre with at-risk teens in juvenile detention centers. It was stressful work. But using my creative talents to give back made me feel, well, cool.

And then one day a famous screenwriter called me about a Writer's Assistant position. He asked, “are you smart?” I said yes and I got the job. His project was a mini-series about the end of the world. Does it get any cooler than that?

It did.

After that project ended I got a job at a non-profit granting wishes to adults in the last months of their life. I was the Celebrity Dream Coordinator. Have cancer? Wanna meet George Clooney? I'd try my best to make it happen.

I mentioned my job to the screenwriter, who I was still in touch with. He asked if I'd write a treatment for a film or television series based on this wish-granting-job. Hell-to-the-yeah. I did. He pitched it, and nothing became of it.

I was starting to feel like the guy in the parable that works for the circus picking up elephant poop. When asked why he won't quit his stinking job, he replies, “And leave show biz?”.

On a whim, I decided to move to Portland where I could be another kind of cool. Un-cool. And the truth is I'm much happier here. I'm eating peaches off the tree in my back yard. And I'm laying in the anti-gravity recliner with a glass of anything cold. I'm watching Henry throw rocks into his tiny plastic pool.

I'm finally figuring out how to stop chasing things and just soak in the good of the present moment. After returning from a solo trip to the grocery store recently, Henry hugged my leg and said, “I missed you soooo much, mama.” Insert pause. “Can I have a snack?”

I'm kind of like a movie star in my little boy's eyes and I don't think it gets any cooler than that.