Elton John and Weird Shit on Dave's Cell Camera.

29 April 2010 | 11 Comments
So, I planned to sneak my camera into the concert. 

Yeah.  Yeah.  I know.  It clearly stated NO CAMERAS!

I told Dave that it didn't apply to bloggers.  But he was all, "I am going to be pissed if I have to walk this camera back to Gigi's house because I know it won't be YOU doing it and I'm not letting them hold our $800 camera hostage." 

Then he came up with a plan, I would pack the lense in my purse.  He would put the body under his coat and we would sneak it in.  That's my boy.

Then as we're backing out of the driveway, he freaks again and I tell him that I'll take our crappy point & shoot because I didn't want him to have a coronary... by the way... if you have any recommendations for a nice, yet not super expensive point and shoot, I'd LOVE to hear it.

So, I switched it out and we get downtown and everyone is all don't take a camera.  So I didn't.

And they didn't even blink at us or check for cameras.

And we got to the suite {which was uber nice and lovely & came with drinks, thank you Gale!!} and like 10 people in the suite had freaking cameras in their hands so then I gave him 'the look' and he busted out his cell camera.


But then, while I was lamenting his ruining-ness, & dowloading photos, I came across the following pictures stored in his cell phone.

He took my baby to a bar while I was out of the country with the world's worst uncle, Dougie... ok, not a good example.


And then a concert photo worthy of posting, the love of my life, Mr Hottie Pants, John Legend that was literally 15 feet away from me and I almost hyperventilated because of the hotness.

And Finn & I eating a picnic lunch at Twin Peaks in San Francisco.


And cute pics of Finnegan that I had never seen from a park in Santa Barbara so that I could take a relaxing bubble bath by my very own self when we stayed here.


And this one.  Maybe he's not so bad after all?

Clomid and Finnegan and National Infertility Awareness Week

27 April 2010 | 7 Comments
Fertility.  Drugs. 

Really?

I spent my entire adult life trying to prevent this from happening.  It should be easy TO get pregnant.  Right?

Oh, how I wish.

The first time I took Clomid, I didn't have a whole lot of thought into the process because I happened to be on the perfect day to begin when I had my yearly gynocologist appointment and brought up my concerns to her.  I was over 30.  We had been trying to no avail.  Pop this pill and poof, nine months later I'll have a bundle of joy?  Sign me up. 

I took 50 mg and didn't have any mature egg folicles.  It was heartbreaking.  Um, I need fertility drugs AND even those don't work? 

That was December of 2005.  Dave and I decided to take a few months off, enjoy our belated honeymoon, relax and revisit the idea of Clomid later.  I felt like I needed a little timeout to process this and do some reading.  My obgyn was fantastic about letting me get my head sorted out before we proceeded any further. 

I felt like NEEDS FERTILITY DRUGS should have up in big blinking lights with an arrow flashing at my head every time I walked into my obgyn or got the news that one of my friends was pregnant or went to work or went to the grocery store.

I felt like a failure.  I passed a pregnant teen once and started crying in the grocery store.  Then, I just felt like a nutjob that cries at pregnant teens, as well as the flashing NEEDS FERTILITY DRUGS arrow blinking steadily over my head.

Oh, it sucked. Suuuuucked. 

I didn't think that I had it in me to be heartbroken again if it didn't work. And you only get six chances at the Clomid before they nix it and step you up to more tests and invasive procedures.  I wasn't sure at that point what we would choose to do.  Give up?  Adopt?  Be ok with being childless? Do every test and procedure known to man? 

When we were ready to try another round, it was May or June of 2006.  I did another round of 50 mg and nothing.  Again.  I cried.  Dave consoled.  I was hormonal and insane.  He stood by my side and held my hand.  I wasn't sure I could do another round and be disappointed when my OBGYN told me the next dose would be 100 mg.

Dave gently encouraged me to try again.  He had faith in medicine when I didn't.

We proceeded on with 100 mg dose.  Oh, I was a wreck.  A wreck.  It made me have horrible mood swings and timing sex... let's face it,  it isn't the most romantic notion in the world.  I went in for my ultrasound and they found one egg that was 10mm on day 14, and that wasn't a good sign.  I asked if there was any hope and the doctor I saw that day told me that it wasn't looking good. 

I went home and decided that even if the glimmer of hope was miniscule, I would still do the ovultion predictor kits.  Just in case.  There was, predictably, nothing for days.  I felt defeated, but on the 6th day of testing, many days after I should have ovulated, that line turned purple as purple can be.
Finnegan James was born 39 weeks later.  One week overdue, giant baby, cesarean scar, and all, I wouldn't change any of it for the world.  Science is an amazing thing and we have benefitted greatly from it. 

We didn't share our story with many people while we were going through it, it was hard enough to endure.  I didn't realize until later how many people experienced something similar.  But, I want you to know, you're not the only one out there. 

Thanks for listening to my story.  I hope yours ends in the same way.

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24 - May 1.

Disney Cars Birthday Party!

26 April 2010 | 124 Comments
"I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park!"  -Mater

We set up the tables in a big square, the tables were the "track" decorated with white stickers to make the road lines, cups filled with Cars crayons, mini coloring pages, & Cars stickers, and small orange traffic cones with balloons tied to them.  The "infield" was left open for the pinata, tunnel, & a road rug set up with all kinds of cars.  That, coupled with the Melissa & Doug garage, kept them busy for hours.  The set up was great because the kids were in view of their parents {a plus at this age} and when it came time for singing & present opening, everyone could see.

Disney Cars Birthday Party

Disney Cars Birthday Party Disney Cars Birthday Party decor

Disney Cars Birthday Party activitiesDisney Cars Birthday Party

Disney Cars Birthday Party activities

The favors were mini pit crew bags that had a small bag of trail mix & a swirly sucker, each child had a pit crew pass with a Cars character on it, & a name tag to wear at the party.

Disney Cars Birthday Party  favors

Disney Cars Birthday Party favors

On the right side of the entrance to the 'track' we had Ramone's House of Body Art set up for the kids to put temporary tatoos on.  They got into this SO much that everyone {including some parents} left with several tatoos.

Disney Cars Birthday Party free printables

Disney Cars Birthday Party activities

Disney Cars Birthday Party free printables

We had a pull string Ligtening McQueen pinata filled with Cars superballs, die cut Cars characters, stickers, & candies.  It was fantastic because the kids age range was from 18 months - 8 years old, so they each lined up and chose a string to pull {only one string actually pulls the pinata open} and then used their pit crew favor bags to pick up the goodies.

Disney Cars Birthday Party pinata

Disney Cars Birthday Party Disney Cars Birthday Party

We set up the drink table as Fillmore's Organic Fuels.  The Anti Freeze {lemonade dyed green} and Motor Oil {iced tea} were set up in beverage dispensers that we set up on small Ikea plastic stools to keep them away from small hands.

Disney Cars Birthday Party free printables

Disney Cars Birthday Party  menuDisney Cars Birthday Party menu

Food was set up at Flo's V8 Cafe.  The menu included: Sarge's Sloppy Joes, Doc's Guac & Chips, Fillmore's Fruit, Chick's Coleslaw, Sally's Pasta Salad, and 'Mater's Tater Chips.

Disney Cars Birthday Party free printables

Disney Cars Birthday Party menuDisney Cars Birthday Party menu

Desserts were at Sarge's Surplus of Sweets.  I used 8.5 x 11 photo paper to make the "Finn is 3" bunting and simply strung it on ribbon.   The desserts included: stop light rice krispie treats, cookies, chocolate dipsticks, Cars cupcakes {thank you Adrianne!}, & a Lightening McQueen cake.  I made simple cupcake toppers that had Happy Birthday Finn on one side and the #3 on the other.  We also used some simple diecut Cars shapes {from Michael's} to make more cupcake toppers by simply gluing to a sucker stick.
  
Disney Cars Birthday Party menu 
Disney Cars Birthday Party desserts

Disney Cars Birthday Party cupcakes

Disney Cars Birthday Party cupcakesDisney Cars Birthday Party

Disney Cars Birthday Party smash cake

Disney Cars Birthday Party dessertsDisney Cars Birthday Party smash cake

Sources:
  • Lightening McQueen pull pinata 
  • temporary tattoos  
  • Cars contact paper used to make elevation on the dessert table, red mylar star balloons - Dollar Tree
  • mini orange traffic cones 
  • diecut Cars stuff, Cars superballs, Cars crayons, Cars mini coloring pages, Cars stickers, paper for sinage, picture holders used for menu items, Cars candle - Michaels
  • checkered flag bunting, pit crew bags, pit crew pass badge holders, checkered flag table cover - Oriental Trading Company
  • road rug, straws, napkins, turquoise stools - Ikea
  • beverage dispensers - Costco
  • red tableware, temporary tatoos, Finnegan's Lightening McQueen hat - Walmart
And as a party favor to you, the signs I made are available for you to download FREE at my Google Doc Account {with the Disney characters removed} for you to use.  I would love to see how you use them for your parties, so be sure to link back and tell me to visit your blog.

Edited to add:  Just so everyone knows... I have said this previously, but I am reiterating it.  I will not send the originals with the characters on them.  Those were created for our own personal use.  

I have moved the signs from Scribd {because of issues with printing them and Scribd charging for them} to Google Docs.  You should have no problem accessing them now for free as I had intended.  Please contact me directly at sowonderfulsomarvelous {at} gmail, as I receive a large number of requests and don't always keep up with comments left on old posts.

DOWNLOAD the signs by right clicking on the sign you want, you can save or print from there.


And there you have it... Happy 3rd Birthday Finnegan!

Want more fun party ideas?  Check out Dr Seuss and Scooby Doo and Super Mario!

Stop Light Rice Krispie Treats

25 April 2010 | 11 Comments
Currently I'm blinking back the glitter bouncing off SIR Elton John & attempting to come up with a post about Finnegan's awesome Cars themed party.  Until that happens or EJ holds Tony Danza closer, you will have to make due with the Stop Light Rice Krispie Treat. 


So, they are a little bit of a pain in the ass to make, but they are really really good.  I'm not a fan of decorated stuff... don't put sprinkles on my cookies, don't fancy up my brownies, I'll take my pie with a small dollop of whipped cream though.  Anywho, these, fancy as they may be, are going to be made again.

First, you get over to visit Bridget at Bake at 350, read her tutorial and make yourself a batch of her royal icing.  And go for the good stuff, use the merengue powder from Williams-Sonoma.  The Wilton stuff is really not near as good.  OK, so make that batch of royal icing, you can halve it for today's purpose OR you can make some cookies to use up the stuff that you have left over.  I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Once your icing is made you dye it red {LOVE the Americolor red, thanks Steph!}, green, and yellow.  Thin it slightly with some water once the color you love is achieved.  Now... this isn't as thin as flood icing, I added just enough to make it a really thick pancake batter consistency.  Let it sit a minute, pop the bubbles just like Bridget tells you to & pour it into squeeze containers.  I like to put the cap on and turn upside down in a drinking glass so I'm not contstantly shaking the icing to the top.


Then, you carefully squeeze a bit out onto the wax paper lined baking sheet, keeping the tip in one place forming a perfect circle.  This is why it can't be super thin or it will spread like crazy.  My yellow was a bit more thin and it spread more than the red or the green.


Great Glossy Buttons Batman!  Look at how EASY that was.  Now leave them to dry overnight if you can, if not 12 or so hours would be good.  Um, take my word people, do not try to pick them up even if the top is perfectly dry and you are the world's most impatient person.  Not that I would know anything about that.  Ahem.

So once the lights are dry completely, you go out and buy a sheet of Rice Krispie treats because those are best left to the pros AND the sheet is perfect for cutting into exact, wonderful square shapes.  And if you are anything like me, you'll take the easy way out.

Then you take your perfect shape and dip just the face edge in melted chocolate.  Use an offset spatula {or any knife will do} to smooth the chocolate.



Then you pop the red, yellow, & green royal icing lights onto the wet chocolate & allow to set.  The best part for me?  Aside from eating them, because yum, they stand up!  It was perfect for displaying.



There you have it, Stop Light Rice Krispie Treats!

PS  How much trouble do you think I'll get in for taking a camera with me?

Updated:  Linking to:  Made By You Mondays, Works for Me Wednesday

And Today, You Are Three.

23 April 2010 | 7 Comments
Wednesday night...
Finn:  Mama, I don't WANNA be that number.
Me:  What number?
Finn: *attempts to hold up three fingers*  I wanna be two. *holds up two fingers easily*
Me:  It'll be ok Finna.
Finn:  But, I'm still two?
Me:  Yes, until Friday.  I might just want you to stay a baby forever. 
Finn:  Mama, I'm not a baby, I'm a kid.

And there you have it.  He's a kid.

I blinked and three years have passed.  Really.  People tell you it flies by and you don't believe it until it happens to you.

He is becoming his own person.

This baby that we struggled to have, he is making jokes and tossing his head back in exaggerated laughter.  Because in his own mind, he is hilarious.  He is a legend of hilarity like his Bakka. 

{Yes, he calls my dad the spanish word for cow, only in spanish it is spelled vaca.  I find this completely amusing.}

Most days, he is also Lightening McQueen.  Including, but not limited to: car noises, losing a tire {shoe} at inopportune times aaaaand the shaking involved being without a tire, wearing 'racing' socks, bumping cars {people} out of the way, and yelling KaCHOW with a Chicka-BOW at the end. 

We have put him on a strict {only once a week} Cars detox program.  It's not helping much.

He amazes us daily with things he is learning

He is frustrating and maddening and crazy.  The tantrums are epic.

He also makes me smile daily.  And the capacity in my heart for love has grown exponentially.  I can not imagine our world without him in it.

Happy Birthday my sweet Finnegan James.

It's Thursday and...

22 April 2010 | 8 Comments
Sorry for the light posting this week... I'm preparing for Finnegan's party this weekend, which I admit, has been put on the backburner a bit too long and now it is crunch time and we spent most of yesterday at the zoo enjoying every second of the gorgeous weather and my house is a disaster so I probably should get that clean and my bathroom is STILL not finished, but that is ok for now because we're Dave is working on it AND most importantly, I should be figuring out what to wear to the Elton John concert when I whisper sing Hold Me Closer Tony Danza in Dave's ear. 

Because he will love that.

And I know I should be all Earth Day yada yada today, but I'm ok with the fact that we compost & bring reusable bags everywhere, even if your friends {Ann Marie} make fun of you for bringing them to the mall.

And my toes, they are like ruby slippers, if ruby slippers were pink Wet n Wild sparkly nail polish that I received {also Ann Marie} for my birthday.


Yep, I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in Lightening McQueen and Sir Elton this weekend.   What are your weekend plans??  Please tell me it's something infinately more relaxing!  And if anyone has good concert photo taking tips, I'd love to hear them!

Random Acts of Kindness Birthday - The Party

20 April 2010 | 6 Comments
After the day of 34 random acts of kindness we were in the mood to celebrate.  My sister Lyndsey, Dave, and my friend Stephanie completely outdid themselves, beyond all my expectations.  We laughed, we drank, we enjoyed many decadant desserts, & had way too much fun for being thirty-four.











The Desserts
Mini Coconut Cream Pies
Mini Chocolate Cream Pies
Double Chocolate Brownies
Bite Sized Oatmeal White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
R-A-O-K Cutout Cookies
Foldover Jam Butter Cookies in Apricot & Raspberry
Rice Krispie Treats
Vanilla Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Petit Fours
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Bite Size Chocolate Chip Cookies
Assorted Candies
Red Velvet Cake Balls
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Sea Salt Chocolate Covered Oreos





If you don't do anything else this summer, make this drink.  Even the non-vodka drinkers were trying {and drinking copious amounts of} this gem that my sister made in several batches.  It really is the perfect summer cocktail & the frozen blueberries were a great pairing.

Blueberry Lemonade
1 part Stoli Blueberry Vodka
2 parts lemonade
garnish with fresh blueberries that have been frozen overnight


So there you have it, my 34th birthday, the perfect ending to a wonderful day.  Thanks to everyone who was a part of it, those who were with me, those who participated with a random act of kindness of their own, even those who were texting me birthday wishes from afar.  I appreciate every one of you!


Sources, if you're interested:

  • The wall vases came from Pottery Barn ages ago, but they still carry them.

  • The B-A-R letters came from the dollar bin at Michael's.

  • The beverage dispensers came from Costco, the curvy one was last season and no longer available, the other two are this season and can be found there right now.

  • The white paper flowers came from Oriental Trading on clearance, they still have them in purple.

  • The ragtag collection of crystal & glass vases were borrowed by my sister from our grandmothers & mom.

  • The candy boards were foam board covered in wrapping paper.

One last thing... if you're new to {So Wonderful, So Marvelous} WELCOME!  I hope you'll stay awhile and have a look around.
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