Sunday, October 27, 2013

Donigard Halloween Party VI: Costumes!

Our annual Halloween party was last night and the costumes were wonderful as usual! Here they are!

 Logan and Kate as Vampire and His Victim

Rich and Leslie as Calvin & Hobbes 
Patrick, Bonnie, Owen & Evie as The Flintstones

Aubrey and Stuart as Violet Beauregarde and Augustus Gloop 

Laci and Berkeley as The Leg Lamp and Ralphie from A Christmas Story

Max and Betty as Granny Smith Apple and Apple Core

Rhonda as A Monochromatic Painting

Gwen and Andrew as Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf
Marci and Adam as Medusa and Perseus 

Barry, Amelia, Gus & Magnus as Magnum P.I.

Courtney as A Conversation Heart

Gwen as Meat

Danielle and Michael as The Big Bang Theory

Dan, Lisa and Spencer as Junkies

Colleen and Brian as The Ghosts of Tu Pac & Biggie Smalls

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swedish Midsummer Baby Shower

Last night I co-hosted the most beautiful baby shower in the history of the world. Our lovely friend Amelia is expecting her second child and to honor her we put together this perfect little summertime dinner party.

We set up a table in Bonnie's backyard, which was the perfect setting. I gathered all the flowers from a nearby park early that morning. They are mostly weeds; and other than the scary number of bugs that crawled out into my kitchen when I was arranging them, they were perfect. I made smaller arrangements for the table in blue mason jars and a few hanging arrangements that we put on the guest of honor's chair and along the fence. I loved how they turned out!

Along the center of the table I made a simple runner out of two sheets of wrapping paper from Paper Source and scattered moss (from my backyard) and tons of candles around the flower arrangements. I also made place cards out of (fake) antique keys with each person's name that we set on pieces of wood.

Gwen dreamed up these amazing flower crowns that she and I made the night before the party. Everyone looked so beautiful and I think it really took the party to the next level.

Lisa was the mastermind behind the delicious spread of food. We had really nice bread, cold cuts, and cheeses to make fancy sandwiches with lots of beautiful and delicious toppings. For dessert, Leslie made a gorgeous cake and Lisa made a delicious nectarine sorbet. The food was all perfect for a hot summer evening.

We also had a delicious drink with frozen raspberry-nectarine fruit cubes. So, so good.  I've had my eye on these birch straws for a long time and never had a reason to buy them until now. They were perfect for the occasion.

After dinner, Gwen taught us all the traditional Swedish maypole song and dance and we sang and danced around the maypole. If Amelia ever questioned our love for her, this pretty much confirmed it. (Apologies to Bonnie who may have some explaining to do to her neighbors...)

After the maypole dance, we settled down and Gwen had us all pick a rune for Amelia's baby and paint them on pieces of wood which we gave to her along with a blessing for the baby. In keeping with tradition, we read our blessing for the baby and then burned them. It was pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

All in all, it was a pretty remarkable party for a pretty remarkable lady. Thanks to Amelia for having a baby so we could put together this very fun shower and for all those who made it possible!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smoothie Help?

I need some help. I like smoothies, and I feel like I'm okay at making them, but they're always just "okay". Not delicious, not very memorable, just okay. The internet is an overwhelming resource for smoothie assistance so I'm asking you to help me out. Any tricks or never fail recipes you'd care to pass along? I usually just chuck a couple handfuls of whatever frozen fruit I have and a couple scoops of yogurt and some milk. Occasionally I put in some protein powder. I am interested in getting into green smoothies, and have tried to make a few but they all were pretty nasty. But I also want help with non-green smoothies. I have a tendency to make WAY too much smoothie. Like an entire blender-full when I'm the only one who is going to drink it. That is surely a personal problem, but still a problem especially when the smoothie isn't that great. It makes for a lot of smoothie dumped down the drain. So anyone have anything to save me from my mediocre smoothies?

PS: I have a cheap blender and unless you are going to buy me one, do not suggest that a Vitamix/Blendtec will change my life. I know it will.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Internet, meet the two newest members of our family:

Here are Bucky and Rocco, Soren's best friends. Let me back up. In early November, WAY before I usually even think about buying Christmas presents, Soren and I went to the toy store in the mall and he found a stuffed raccoon and it was love at first squeeze. I saw this sight and there was nothing I could do but go back the next day and buy it. 

 Seriously. How could I not? It was physically impossible. So I bought it and put it in my secret present hiding spot in the back of my closet and there it sat until Christmas. I resisted the urge to pull it out and snuggle with it. Then a week or so before Christmas I pulled it out and cut all the tags off of it and wrapped it up for Soren. And the next day the box of presents from Logan's sister and her family arrived and what should be in there for Soren? Another stuffed raccoon. I wasn't sure what to do since I couldn't return the one I bought. I soon decided that although Soren doesn't necessarily NEED two stuffed raccoons, he would LOVE to have two and that he'd probably play with them more as a pair than he would with just one. But just to be sure, I started planting the seeds by telling him stories about two brother raccoons named Rocco and Bucky. (Yes, I have missed my calling as a marketer.) Then Christmas morning came and he opened them both and was immediately in love. 

And the rest is history. He loves those two raccoons like nothing else in the world. Sleeps with them every night, plays with them through out the day, pretends to call them when we're not home, feeds them breakfast, combs them, gives them birthday parties, goes in to greet them when we return home, makes up back stories about their life before they came to live with him (they both grew up in Mississippi, of course) and cuddles, snuggles and squeezes them. We watch raccoon videos on YouTube (endless entertainment folks) and now he's decided that he needs to have a raccoon themed birthday party. City raccoons, not forest raccoons, of course. So I think these two are here to stay. Look for them in this year's family Christmas card.

PS: Updated to add this photo of what I saw when I walked into his room this afternoon:

Yesterday my friend Amelia asked if Rocco and Bucky were animals or if Soren anthropomorphizes them. I wasn't sure how to respond since it is a combination of both, but this picture pretty much sums it up. They are mostly animal - eating banana and onion peels (yellow and white construction paper) on the floor - but have been given spoons to eat the trash. (They aren't savages!)  They don't talk and he only speaks "raccoon" to them (adorable during the day, less so when he and the raccoons have climbed into our bed at 6:30 AM) since that's the only thing they understand. You can't make this stuff up.  Or I guess you can if you're a four year old.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Who's on First?

Soren and I have this exchange nearly everyday:

Soren: Mom, how do you spell "tree"?
Kate: T-R-E-E
Soren: Oh
Kate: No, there's no "o" in tree, that would be tree-o, it's just T-R-E-E
Soren: Oh
Kate: No, there's no "o" in tree, that would be tree-o, it's just T-R-E-E
(sometimes repeats a few more times...)
Soren: I don't mean the letter "o" I mean the now I know "oh")
Kate: Oh
Soren: There's no "o" in "oh"
Kate: Yes there is.
Soren: Oh.

What in the world am I going to do with myself in September?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


I'm guessing this will be the last year I can convince him that dressing up and taking a ton of pictures will be fun. Remember when he looked like this? And THIS?!?!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cutting the cord

I should make him wear this shirt every day until the Fall since I'm in complete denial that it is actually happening. When did he get so big? Luckily I still have seven months to prepare myself.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wherein we torture our son

Those who know Soren at all, know that he's not known for his bravery. He's pretty much scared of everything, but with most things he will have fun doing them once he gets over the initial fear. Last Christmas we bought him a sled and until this weekend, we have had very little snow and it has been sitting in our basement for more than a year just waiting to be used. So once the storm slowed down, we put on a ridiculous number of layers and hit the slopes, er steps. As expected, Soren was super excited to go sledding but as soon as we got there decided that he wasn't going to do it. Having waiting more than a year for this moment, we weren't going to walk away with out sledding.

(Note:  Videos don't show up in some readers, so if you want to see the videos, go to a browser)

In the end, he liked it but preferred sledding down the teeny tiny hills at the park down the street instead. Logan and I also went down several times from the very top and even (with a great deal of protesting) got Soren to go the whole way down with me.

Proof that it wasn't all torture and to give you a sense of just how much snow we received:

Sledding down the street - the fastest way to travel
Urban sledding at its finest

Building snow caves at the park
Someone's car is under that mountain of snow

Dear Cami: Your wish is my command

You may or may not have noticed that I don't blog very often. Or ever. My sister apparently noticed and requested that I post something already. So here you go, Cami. A blog post. Lets start with an Instagram dump to bring everything up to date. This should pretty much sum up the last several months of our life.

Any questions?