Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Double Date night

Rose Mary and Larry Winget are friends that we see as often as we can. Although we get to see Larry on television all the time it is not the same as gabbing, gossiping, and breaking bread. We LIKE them. Going out on double dates with them is fun. If we lived closer we could double date all the time. It is effortless. I love that as much as I like that.

Last night we had one of those amazing double dates in Las Vegas. The stars aligned and both Jeff and Larry are booked to speak on the same program a day apart. They are technically working and Rose Mary and I are here for the unconditional support of our men (ha!), and martinis, and fine dining, and shopping and because we can. We made Michael Mina's Nob Hill Tavern our spot for dinner and drinks.

The meal was wonderful but they could have served us crap and we would have still enjoyed ourselves. It was all about being together, sharing stories and getting caught up.

After dinner we copped a spot in a lounge for cigars, some more beverages and people watching. We got invited to a party at Studio 54 but declined on the premise that we were really comfortable just hanging out where we were and the view of the freaks, hookers, drunks and idiots was too good to pass up. We took our share of silly photos to commemorate the evening
and Rose Mary was cool to post some mobile uploads to her facebook. For old farts we sure do know how to party.

Just in case you are even thinking about burglarizing our homes while we are in Vegas you should know that Larry's son Tyler is a trained sniper (KILLER) and he is house sitting for Larry and Rose Mary with his guns. Our house is free game however, Mitchell and my Parents will leave the front door unlocked for you- just call first so they can put Lenny in the kitchen. The silver is horribly tarnished in a box underneath the dining room table and my fur is hanging untouched for 3 seasons in the front closet. Be quiet when you come in- if you wake the kids you are on your own.

Double Date Night in Vegas.... priceless!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hakuna Matata, that means no worries for the rest of your days

My kids have seen the DVD of Disney's The Lion King about 167 times. Maybe more, I have lost track. When it comes to memorizing the songs and sayings in the story, all of the children are well versed.

Last week Eli fell and scraped his knee on the deck. As I was tending to his "injury" I was comforting him and offered a band aid. After kissing the cut and covering it with a protective bandage I said, "Good as new Eli, don't worry about it!" Charlotte immediately came over to her brother and said, "Hakuna Matata Eli, that means no worries, for the rest of your days." She was so sweet.

So you can imagine the bittersweet feeling Jeff and I had last night as we sat and watched our good friend, Thom Sesma as he starred in the Las Vegas production of the Lion King. As Scar he is the bad guy, but he does it so well. We knew as we sat in the theater that our kids would have been completely thrilled to join us and we would have brought them along if it weren't for the pesky cost. Perhaps we will be able to bring them sometime in the future, maybe never? I think we will volunteer to star in one of those cheesy Mastercard commercials- our version would go something like this:

Reserved tickets to the Lion King at the Mandalay Bay, $125 each
(plus service fees, taxes, and parking)
Airfare from Columbus to Vegas $344 each
Lousy tee shirts, candy and drinks during intermission, $45 each
Watching the faces of your children as they experience live theater, PRICELESS!

Thom took us backstage after the show and it was amazing. If we thought we loved the costumes and sets from our seats you can only imagine how cool it was to get a sneak peek at the stuff up close and and privately.

There is magic being made in that theater every night- if you get the chance to see this show I highly recommend it. This is a true treasure for all age groups.

So yeah, we are in Las Vegas without our kids. Woooo Hooooo! We have no worries though. Nana and Papa are back home spoiling them rotten. It is the circle of life, right? I am off to get ready for another date night with my sexy husband, alone, in Las Vegas....Can you feel the love tonight? Hakuna Matata everyone, I got this one covered!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day of Atonement

Today is Yom Kippur. It is the day of atonement. I will use this blog post to formally and thus, publicly atone for my sins for the past year. Yom Kippur is sort of the Jewish version of the Catholic confessionals, only it is done annually rather than weekly- us Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years so we are patient people. Weekly? Yearly? It is all good.

If you have followed this blog for any length of time you will know that I have very few secrets and I say it like it is, but sometimes this candid approach in communication causes some problems. I would like to take the time to apologize if I have offended you, made you cringe with my choice of four letter words, or worse, if I have wronged you in some way.

I would like to reflect on the past year and share what I have learned. Here is my list of gems from the past year of 5769 as we enter the Jewish New Year of 5770:

I learned that 16 oz of honey never really comes out of berber carpet

I learned that a good martini is liquid perfection

I learned that even in the saddest situations laughter is the best medicine

I learned that Cracker Barrel is a country restaurant

I learned that making gluten free challah is not worth the time or effort

I learned that I really did NEED an I-phone

I learned that shredded cheese is easier to sweep up if you wait a few hours

I learned that even my grandmother has a personal trainer

I learned that I actually ENJOY driving a mini-van

I learned that the pedi-egg has saved me over $180 in pedicures

I learned that blogging is cheaper than therapy

I learned that you can look slim while wearing a size 14 dress

I learned that facebook helps you reconnect with ex boyfriends

I learned that professional portraits of my children are priceless

I learned that being Jewish is important to me

I learned that wanting two aupairs on opposite shifts is a pipe dream

I learned that you can not underestimate the joy of successful potty training

Happy New Year everyone- I wonder what we will learn in the upcoming year? I do not have any resolutions, only goals, so stick around, we can all learn something from my hair-brained schemes and daily rants.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Solo Debut from Natalie

It is rare to get a solo performance from any of my children. They play in a pack. They hang as a group. All they know is being part of a small group. I was pleasantly surprised that Natalie was able to make her solo debut last week. Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Incredible Gluten Free Onion Rings

I have been meaning to post this recipe for two weeks and as I type this I am scheduling it to post on Friday so that I do not forget it again. I made these incredible gluten free onion rings from the sugar sweet onion at the Lynd's market- you might recall
the onion was the size of Eli's head. I will say that this recipe tastes terrific and I dare you to make these for a crowd without telling anyone they are gluten free. My crew ate them as fast as I could fry them and at one point I had to shoo everyone out of the kitchen because I feared there wouldn't be any left for the meal.

2 large sweet onions
1.5 cups low fat buttermilk ( or just shy of 1 c milk with 1 tsp vinegar added)
1 cup Jules Nearly Normal Flour
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread mix
fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for frying-

Slice onion into rings and soak them in buttermilk mixture for 30 minutes or while you assemble everything else.Assemble the dry ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag. Stir in Buttermilk to drain the onions and make a batter in your bag. Dip onions one by one to coat all over with batter. Drop into hot oil and cook until golden brown turning half way through the rotation.Make sure you space them apart to prevent clumping and sticking to each other. This is time consuming and would be ideal if you had multiple fryers going, but I rarely prepare any fried foods and my equipment is limited. They are a cross between a tempura dipped onion and a traditional french fried style onion ring. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 250 degree oven until you serve them with BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free Cold Stone Ice Cream on Thursday September 24

I love the ice cream at Cold Stone, but as I have reported in the past, I just can't afford it. I have signed up every member of our family for the birthday club and on those occasions we redeem the freebies.

On Thursday September 24th Cold Stone is offering a free ice cream social. Click here to see the details, and for nationwide locations. This is a great offer if you have a boatload of kids. I suspect that it will be busy so plan accordingly.

Make a wish and Cold Stone Creamery- very nice!

15 Years Difference

If there is one thing I miss about my single days it is the footloose and fancy free feeling, like seizing the opportunity to enjoy a Fall day on the back of a Harley. Back in the day if I could rearrange my schedule and the weather cooperated I would find any excuse to ride with the smell of burning leaves, brightly colored trees and a stop for an apple cider slush. I did not have to make arrangements for child care, I did not have to make sure my will was current, and I certainly did not have to be back at any particular time. My motto was the classic Harley slogan- live to ride and ride to live. These were really fun times.

Last week while in Kansas City I got to revisit those magical Harley riding days. The weather was picture perfect with sunny skies, warm 75 degree temperatures and I felt as great as I did back in 1994. Would I trade what I have today for that? HELL No, but it is fun to re-connect with those precious memories. Good times. Good Friends. Good Stuff in general.

I still look back at the old photos from this era and I smile. This image was taken in 1994 in front of a friend's home in Hallbrook.John had just switched the tank and fender to a custom color of black and tan (my all time favorite) and I was all to happy to pose for a glamour shot on the bike. I remember squeezing myself into those jeans, arching my back so my boobs would look killer, and smiling for the camera. I was defying the stereotypical Jewish Princess image in every possible way. Just as the photographer was about to take the picture I sucked in my stomach and smiled. I hoped and prayed that I did not look fat.

Fast forward to 2009, just 15 years later when I climbed on the same bike (thanks John!) and smiled.I color coded my top and black jeans to match the bike, styled my hair all wild and curly and wore a supportive yet comfortable bra. So much has changed yet I feel exactly the same. I still arched my back, and prayed that I did not look like a woman that had recently given birth to 4 kids.

I am still the same biker chick on the inside. I just have more responsibilities and a wonderful husband waiting in the park with our four kids. I am so lucky. What a difference 15 years makes. Live to Ride and Ride to Live!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just as I predicted

All four of the kids are pookie. I suspect they have the dreaded hand, foot and mouth virus that plagued Samuel. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children. Characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.

I'll be damned if I am going to shell our four co-pays at $25 bucks a pop only to be told that there is nothing that you can do but wait it out. Having experienced this years ago as a nanny I just knew the answer was alternating between tylenol and motrin for the fever and slathering a combination of maalox and benydryl on the sores. Needless to say it has been a bit whiny and cranky over here. And not just the kids. Momma needs a cocktail of vodka and blue cheese stuffed olives slathered in her mouth as preventative measures and for antibacterial purposes.

I am thinking of having some new tee shirts made that say: I went to Kansas City and all I got was the Coxsackievirus. Oh joy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Proof that they had fun

As if you really need photographic proof that the kids truly enjoyed themselves? Here are some of the images I captured at the Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas:

I better put the 15 pound MEGA box of Oxy Clean powder on my list for Costco.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Times Flies when you are Having Fun and We are Having Fun

With our whirlwind tour of KC and jam packed schedule, I have barely had time to take a deep breath, yet alone, update the blog. Here is some much needed 411 from the Slutskys. It is shocking what I can get done with high speed on line while Jeff and the kids are sleeping.

We have been spending time with the cousins and they are just so dang cute together!

They play like they are best friends and it hard to believe they are not everyday pals- because they act as if they get to see each other all the time. We lined them up at various spots around Village Shalom

and let Grandma show them off at her place. Who can resist these color coordinated cuties?

I took my 4 plus Jeff and Alejandro for a drive to the Louisberg Cider Mill. The original thought was that they would fall asleep and nap for a bit and they did. How do I spell success?....C-A-R N-A-P-S! I just wish I could nap while driving, but no such luck. The kids got to see how fresh apple cider is made

and of course there were samples, pumpkins mazes, and

haystacks to climb and jump on-and off-and on 122 times until poor Alejandro was spent.

Nothing says you are in Kansas like a day trip to the red barn and cider mill. We even got to see some of the Duggar family wannabees.

I am not sure how many moms were "sister wives" in modest clothing and a how many kids there really were, but let me just say that for once, I was not the center of attention with my brood. How cool is that?

The Jewish holy days are here and this is the first year in ages that we did not go to the synagogue. As a group we decided to just spend time with the relatives doing family bonding. All of the 6 under 4 were having such a great time it seemed silly to make them go to a babysitting room at an unfamiliar synagogue. We had a co-branded shabbat/Rosh Hashana meal complete with Lillian's custom made challah cover.

Instead of rushing to shul and back enjoyed the quiet and we dipped our fair share of apples

and honey for a sweet new year. L'shana Tovah everyone, it is time for my new years' resolution to get more sleep.

I promise I will check in tomorrow when I am celebrating my SEVEN year wedding anniversary by driving home.

P.S. after spending all week with Lillian and Samuel we found out tonight that Samuel has a bad case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Virus which causes fever, painful blisters in the throat and a general dose of BLECH and POOKINESS. Please say a little prayer that the poor baby feels better soon and that my monkeys do not catch this nasty bug. Amen.

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The older crowd
Amanda and Mitchell

A blast from the past...makes it all so real now