you might change your mind

It may not be pretty to look at, but the muddy green color of my new invention--the chocolate avocado milkshake!--is a mere cosmetic hiccup. Once you take a sip of this deliciousness (if I can brag for a moment) you won't care that it's the color of sickly, ghastly ghoul. I was so pleased with myself after whipping up this scrumptious concoction that I sent Scout upstairs with her shake to give Alex a taste while working in his "home office." Tell him "it will change your life," I instructed her. Somehow "it will change your life" turned into "you might change your mind" when Scout delivered my message, so Alex's initial reaction to my groundbreaking invention, which I understand I probably didn't invent, was a bit lukewarm (in my opinion). But he quickly realized how amazing the smoothie truly was--or else he just humored me--and eagerly polished off Tillie's when she declared herself "full of avocado milkshake."

I know you're dying for the recipe (at least I hope I hyped it up enough that you would be), so here's what I threw together. Please note: when making smoothies and such, I'm not really one for measuring, so this is an approximation of my work...feel free to tweak to your desire:

1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 ripe (but not too ripe) banana
1 T-ish cocoa powder
1 T-ish agave nectar
6-8 ice cubes
pinch of kosher salt
a little milk (maybe a 1/4 cup, maybe a little less?) and then a little more milk to thin it out a bit *I used milk from grass-fed cows, and I think that probably makes a difference in the taste, but maybe that's just the Austin hippie growing inside of me...

Blend everything together (in a blender, obviously) and then enjoy your luscious pea green shake.


an army of 100

We had a very eventful uneventful day today. After Catcher's 9:30 soccer game I was feeling very festive--it must be the recent chill in the morning air--so we stopped in the children's consignment store to find Halloween costumes for the wee ones (I will not pay retail for costumes). Everyone was able to choose one's own getup this year since I've given up on the whole family "theme" thing. This year we have all the major kid interests--Star Wars, Disney Princess, Fairy Thing--represented. I'm sure at least one of those costumes will be destroyed by Halloween (I'm not naming any names), but we'll save that suspense for another day. Back to this day...

After we got home and the kids ate lunch and I started a load of laundry, our uneventful rhythm was disrupted when Tillie discovered the water in the toilet wouldn't go down after flushing. It's a very long and boring story (unless you're really in to plumbing or want to hear about the time I was plunging until sweating bullets), but basically our toilet has been acting psycho for two weeks now. We've had two plumbers and one new toilet and there's still an issue. (We only have one bathroom, which means one toilet for five people, in the house.) So we spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for the City of Austin (not their problem, they said after inspection) and then the plumber again to resolve the issue. In the meantime, we had to put our exciting trip to the library on hold, but it turned out to be a surprisingly low-key afternoon thanks to the $1 I spent earlier at the consignment store for a bag of little green army men. These plastic fighters kept Catcher busy all afternoon; best dollar I ever spent.

In case you're wondering, or you're like me and would like a resolution to the potty story, the problem with the toilet is in the pipes. But it's now functioning enough to get us through the weekend. We hope.


blue 42

So maybe I said I would never let my child play football. Maybe that was before I moved to Texas, where football is kind of a big deal. Or maybe not. Either way, never ended yesterday afternoon when I signed Catcher up for flag football. In my defense (and I'm pointing this out specifically to my husband who did play football and swears that our son will not play football), this is flag football at the local recreation center. Practices are Friday afternoons at 5:00, so I'm really just using it as an excuse to get us out of the house. Friday afternoons are nuts around here with all the pent-up energy after a week in school. And maybe someone can finally teach this kid how to catch a ball. Maybe.


mmm...butter coffee...

The butter, aka bulletproof, coffee sensation is sweeping the nation, and I am enthusiastically riding that train. Today was the first day of fall. It was a cool (honestly!), breezy Austin morning and Alex was on his way out of town for the week. All of these were signs that we must stop and enjoy each other's company over a steaming cup of butter coffee (iced is awesome, too, for those unbearably hot Texas mornings).

On an unrelated manner, Scout is Alex's personal jewelry-maker. That girl loves stringing some beads together and bestowing the fruits of her labor upon her father. The necklace he's wearing above is one of her more subdued styles. The other day she came home with a necklace of plastic faceted crystal jewels and dainty hearts in a choker style. It was pretty adorable; Alex wore it with pride until the string snapped.


nail art

I always know they're up to something when all children are present and accounted for yet the house is quiet. Yesterday afternoon I was helping Catcher in the living room with his latest origami adventures (Han Foldo and the Fortune Wookiee) as an unnatural silence issued forth from the kitchen where Scout and Tillie were coloring. I sent Catcher in for some recon work, and he returned reporting that Scout was in the corner coloring her toes. She was giving herself a marker pedicure. (the manicure was already complete). Soon her little shadow discovered how fun it can be to color on yourself, so then there were four crazy feet running around the house.


tillie the evangelist

Apparently we're still awed by the rain around here. So awed, in fact, that this afternoon I found Tillie in a praise-the-Lord pose while letting raindrops from the roof splash her eyelashes and trickle down her face. Then she put on the sunglasses she scored from a birthday party pinata earlier in the day, which made the gesture all that more amusing.


20th century talk

I've never received a more utterly mystified look from these three clowns than when I innocently asked them at dinner tonight if they were talking about the movie that I had taped for them. Catcher looked at me like I had six heads and started cracking up while repeating "Taped for us? Taped? You taped a movie? Whaaaaaaaat?" That's right; they've never heard of a VCR and the subsequent "taping" of movies. When I began explaining a VHS tape, I first compared it to a cassette tape. It was like talking to aliens. They were all looking at me with these gaga take-me-to-your-leader sort of eyes. I then figured out that instead of saying "oversized cassette tape," it would make more sense to these foreigners to explain a VHS tape as the size of one of the Harry Potter books (sort of). But then everything got lost in translation as Scout began imagining book-like things recording movies from the television. And these so-called "tapes" would then have to be stored on...a bookshelf? Oh well...whatever...nevermind. Enjoy your iPads, kids (wink!).

P.S. Take another look at these guys. How am I the crazy one in this story?


after the storm

This morning Tillie put on her rain boots and went searching for puddles left in the wake of last night's raucous thunderstorm. The picture above illustrates the best we could find; I guess the thirsty Austin earth drank up the rest. But back to the storm...

Somewhere in the wee hours of this morning, rain began hammering our roof--I couldn't miss it since our bedroom is the attic, more or less--and lightning electrified the children's bedrooms. Seriously. It was like there was a rave going on the girls' room with pulsating strobe lights. I know this because I crept downstairs several times during the storm thinking 1) the kids must be awake (they weren't) and 2) the power must be out (it wasn't) and 3) the house is going to split in half (it didn't). Sometime in the middle of all this madness Alex's phone went off to warn us of flash flooding in the area. Thank you, iPhone, for the very alarming distress signal that snapped me back to life after I had just drifted off to sleep. I wasn't planning on driving anywhere during the storm at 2:00am, but at least I was aware of the threat. And as long as I was awake, I could revisit the first floor to make sure there was no water creeping in under the front door (there wasn't).


picture day

Today was picture day at Catcher's school. Naturally, I made him pose for me in his sartorial splendor at 7:15 this morning; naturally, he was thrilled. Actually, he did manage to crack a smile when his dad asked him if he got in a fight with a picnic table. (Catcher's choice of shirts, by the way.)

Even if I couldn't get that "perfect smile" out of Catcher, I'm pretty sure that one of my snapshots will be better than whatever we find in Package 6 (the second-cheapest option offered), which we had to pre-order from the school. I'll send you a wallet.


muddy boots

Now here's something you don't see around here every day: muddy rain boots--that were actually worn..in the rain--sitting on our front porch. Yesterday we got ourselves up bright and early for Catcher's drizzly soccer game at 8:30am. Thank goodness for the boots and thank goodness we had the early game since the rain turned from drizzle to steady stream beginning around 10:00am. We could hardly contain ourselves with all the excitement over 1) rain all day in Austin and 2) the lowest high temperature (66!) ever recorded for September. Who knew I would turn into such a weather dork? We're supposed to be back in the 90s tomorrow, but I enjoyed pretending we lived in the pacific northwest for a day.


calling all jedi masters...

Two nights ago I didn't hear a peep from Catcher after dinner. He had lost his screen time due to an earlier incident that involved hitting one of his sisters, so I assumed he was in his room lost in Lego land. To my delight and surprise, however, when I peeked in I found him quietly reading. Wednesday is his library day at school, and he's discovered the treasure trove of Star Wars-themed books available to die-hards (or your average first grade boy). At first I thought The Strange Case of Origami Yoda sounded, well, strange. But then I heard from several sources--all of them elementary-aged boys--that these books are quite the thing. Who knew? Besides...can I really question a book that came from his school library and keeps him interested in reading for hours at a time?


while they were sleeping

This afternoon I found myself with a rare 2 1/2 hours to myself while the girls were napping. Due to a mysterious middle-of-the-night vomiting incident, I kept Scout home from school today. The planets aligned correctly around 11:30am when I put the girls down for a post-nap lunch (lunch was served at an early bird 10:55). They had both been awake through the night with Scout getting in and out of bed every 30 minutes from 3:30-5:30 (but who was looking at the clock anyway), so there was no negotiating the nap situation. I just couldn't believe my luck when I heard them both snoring five minutes after tucking them in.

I then set my sights on Catcher's room and "re-arranging" (i.e. de-cluttering, Goodwill-ing) his bookcase. I had to cart the giant box of items-to-be-donated out to the car while the girls were still sleeping because, you know, parents are sneaky like that. It will take them five months to notice that the puzzle with the missing pieces is no longer here, and by that time I can get away with an evasive "I don't know. I haven't seen that [insert 'lost' object here] in a while" reply when they come at me with their "Mom, where's the..." interrogation.



ch, ch, ch, chia

This is when you know you're a dorky mom (well, this and also having a PTA meeting on Tuesday morning and preschool Board meeting on Wednesday morning plus soccer Tuesday night, ballet Wednesday night, packing lunches and checking homework...): when you get really excited about chia seeds. Since purchasing a totally overpriced pod of chia pudding at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago, I've been slightly--slightly means totally here--obsessed with chia seed anything.

The ingredients for the pudding were simple enough, so I decided to go out on my own and create some Pinterest-worthy puddings for the whole family to enjoy. The only problem was that my proportions were way off the first go-round--so much for that six dollars I spent on chia seeds at Trader Joe's--and we were left with watery, tasteless mush in our cute Mason jars. Round two, I'm happy to report, has gone much better than the first. I don't have any pictures of the delectable pudding, however, because it was all promptly devoured at breakfast this morning. I'm telling you: obsessed.

Oh, and don't even get me started on butter coffee (another serious obsession of mine right now).


back on the field

Presenting the Belgian Turtle Snakes:

This year Catcher enters the world of U7 soccer, which means the field is a little bit bigger (and the uniform, too, apparently). Alex was in town this Saturday, so the whole family went out to cheer for the Belgian Turtle Snakes in their inaugural game of the season. Alex is also co-coaching this year, so see if you can spot him running drills in one of the photos above (hint: he's in the goal).

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has a two year-old that our two year-old was over the game by the time her snack ran out five minutes in. She scrambled out on the field to cry to her dad about the snack injustice (i.e. she and Scout had eaten all the snacks) and was almost clobbered by a pack of six year-olds chasing after the ball. She was a loose cannon at this point, but we mollified the situation by promising lunch out after the game with friends. Does that count as bribing? Even so, her anger was quelled (after the photo below was taken) and we were able to enjoy a nice meal at our local coffee shop (they have "real" food, too).

Oh yeah...and Scout hopped around like a bunny on stage while we waited for our food.


watching the rain...and football thursday

There are two reasons to celebrate at the Wheat household today: 1) it rained for about 15 minutes this afternoon and 2) NFL kicks off tonight with the Packers playing Seattle (hence Scout's shirt, below, which is pink...obviously).


fifty shades of pink

Someone started ballet today. After six months of begging, I finally gave in to the pressure and found a class where four of her preschool friends are enrolled. I'm not sure if you're aware, but ballet is very serious. Before we got all highbrow in the dance studio, we had to get the sillies out by making funny faces on the front porch.