Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Birds...not just your feathered friends...

I originally wrote this as a Facebook note a couple of years ago. While we're trying to figure out how to schedule our lives now that The Sweetpea has arrived (more on that later!) I thought I'd move this little gem over here. 

Enjoy another laugh at my expense. There's a never-ending supply, trust me!

We spent the weekend on the Oregon Coast, home of many bold Seagulls... I love going to the coast in the winter when it's cold, rainy and windy. Going when it's sunny and beautiful is good too. It's really a perfect way to spend the weekend if only they didn't have so many birds around!

We have become early morning risers now that we have a toddler. Therefore, at 7:30am we were making our way to the local coffee shop for a latte and muffin before making our way to the beach to set the high energy child loose. Since I know that breakfast is the MOST important meal of the day, I broke into my muffin as soon as the coffee shop door closed behind us - I need to be properly fortified for a day of running around in circles on the beach with Miss High Energy!

I was 1/2 way through the muffin when we hit the beach (I'm a fast eater, the beach isn't that far...). A smallish group of seagulls were milling around near the entrance; far enough away to lull some unsuspecting fool into complacency, but close enough to spot any potential food that could be coming their way (small white pastry bags being a dead giveaway). I took two steps on to the beach and the seagulls raised their heads and started walking slowly my way. Steve is not haunted by birds like I am (please see my 25 Random Things note if you're not aware of my exact feelings about birds - blog addition: they're pure evil!) so he and The Princess merrily walk towards the ocean, completely oblivious to any impending doom.

I noticed the birds and immediately realized the mistake I had made in bringing a pastry bag with me (hello giant target on my back!). Of course, since I hadn't thought everything through I had eaten the bottom part of my muffin first - saving the top part, the best part, for last! What to do?? I was still hungry, had the best part of the muffin still to eat, and yet the seagulls were eyeing me, practically drooling. (Have you noticed that Seagulls have this little red spot on their beaks? It looks like blood - I'm just saying...) So, I did the only thing I could do. I started cramming muffin top into my mouth as fast as possible while walking calmly away from the birds.

They weren't fooled. They started walking faster and a couple of them took to the air so they didn't lose sight of their goal. I started to perfect my speed walking technique (without running - they always say never run - but maybe that's just for dogs!) as I stuffed muffin into my mouth and looked around wildly to see if an audience at the hotel windows had gathered!

The birds started to close in and I started to hyperventilate a little bit (maybe it was because I had so much muffin in my mouth I couldn't get any air into my lungs!) and I knew there was only one thing left to do. I grabbed the rest of the muffin out of the bag, crumpled the bag in my other fist and prepared to run. The birds sensed the moment of decision and before I had even thrown the muffin towards them they started to run towards me, gaining momentum to either take flight or just run me down. I threw the muffin in their direction and ran the opposite way with their cackles ringing in my ears! Steve and The Princess were still watching the spectacle from the sidelines.

Now, you'd think that I would have learned my lesson... But when you get up that early you often have amnesia. The next morning I again walked to the beach with my latte and pastry bag (same muffin - it was so good!). I remembered the issue right before turning the corner, but when I peeked around the edge, there were only 2 seagulls out there and they were way down by the water. I was feeling brave and I KNOW I can eat fast so I decided to risk it. I had no sooner opened the bag (they should give you quiet plastic bags, the rustling of the paper is a dead giveaway!) when a seagull suddenly appeared with a knowing glint in his eye. Just one though, so I thought I could probably take it if it came to that.

I started with the muffin top this time (I learned part of the lesson at least!). I had managed to get a couple of bites in when the Seagull let out a croak - obviously he was the sentry and that was the signal. Seagulls were suddenly circling overhead and gathering around me out of nowhere. I can only assume they were buried in the sand waiting for me because I was watching CAREFULLY and I only noticed TWO when I stepped onto the sand! They weren't taking any chances on losing out this morning either. They were coming from all directions and closing in fast. I knew that I had to act quickly and this time I called for Steve to come save me. Seeing the panic on my face (and probably hearing it in my feeble cry) Steve waded through the feathers with The Princess pointing out EVERY SINGLE BIRD! "B!, B!, B!"

I grabbed The Princess, shoved the muffin into his hand and took off at a run. He could fend for himself with the food! I wasn't hungry anymore and I figured he'd probably survive a bird attack. When we'd made it to safety I turned around to see what had become of my husband. There he was, walking calmly through the birds EATING his own croissant and KEEPING my muffin in his pocket to throw away later! (He said they didn't deserve it and he was keeping it to spite them!)

What I have learned:
  • It's difficult to NOT pass on your phobias to your child when your surrounded by them and they are inherently evil.
  • Never bring food to the beach no matter how brave you feel or how badly amnesia is affecting you.
  • It's good to have someone in your corner who will "spite" birds for you.

This entire story can be verified by Steve if you happen to think that I"m exaggerating...!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hysteria...the final frontier

10 days until the due date. This, of course, is totally dependent on "yet-to-be-named"... She could decide to come tonight or Labor Day or next year... (please Dr., intervene before then!)

Overall I'm feeling pretty good. Huge, yes. Unable to move or get comfortable, no. So things are good.


We're in the 3rd of a 5 day stretch of 90 plus degree days. We don't have air-conditioning.

I'm feeling an edge of hysteria creeping into my thoughts...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Lists...and losing them even faster

I love lists. They give a sense of control and accomplishment. If you've made a list you've already gotten part of the job done. Gold Star for you and it's time for that well-deserved break!

Here's my summer list (as I've pieced it together since I keep losing the written one and then have to start over from "memory", such as it is) as we get ready for our new addition.

  • Make baby gift for new nephew
  • Make bedding for the crib
  • Make a new diaper bag - of course the old one will do just fine. That was a luxury item!
  • Transfer The Princess to a big girl bed - thanks Ikea!
  • Bake cupcakes for the Big 3-Year Birthday! - um...sort of done
  • Pack new baby stuff for the hospital
  • Plan menus and fill up the freezer with meals and muffins - freezer is bursting with blueberries. Not sure where I'm going to stuff any additional meals!
  • Make doll quilt for the Big 3-Year Birthday! - in process, just need to sew that binding on (for the last month)
  • Take The Princess on a few fun adventures before life changes drastically - Ladybug Walk, Honeybee Hike, Oregon Coast, Vintage Carousel, Farmers' Market. Yeah, I rock! (yeah, Steve helped!)
  • Make the distribution list for the baby announcement - don't worry, a FB announcement will happen too. We're totally plugged in over here!
  • Make some cute summer clothes for The Princess - diaper bag didn't happen...
  • Survive the summer - pending...
  • Try to keep the garden alive - yeah. It's still alive but I don't think this was the year to start this project...I think we're the embarrassment of the community garden.
  • Finish editing - can you ever REALLY be finished?
  • I'm sure there's more...I just can't remember right now

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Best Laid Plans

I like to bake. Cooking isn't really my thing but baking I love. I'm pretty good at it. I've gotten rave reviews for my Lemon Cake and my Fresh Raspberry Bars. I even make most of the bread we eat in this house!

My grand plan has been to make cupcakes for The Princess's birthday which is looming directly after the Newest One makes her own arrival. I'll make and freeze them ahead of time and then just pull them out and frost them when life is crazy but the big 3rd birthday is upon us! Brilliant!

The weather has cooled a little and the idea of having the oven on this afternoon wasn't horrifying so I decided it was time for us to do a little baking. As is my usual plan of attack I decided to use a brand new recipe, never tested, never tried; a perfect plan when you have to serve something to guests and want to provide something edible, at the very least. Honestly, that's all I should hope for when I do things like this - impress with something you KNOW will work...keep your expectations realistic! (yeah right!)

You can see where this is going...

The Princess loves to bake and she's really good at it, except for tasting things. Not that tasting while baking is unusual but she's not discerning - everything from sugar to vinegar to flour to baking soda. It makes for an interesting experience.

Things went well, although messy, until we brought the oven into the mix...

The batter was heavenly, the final product tasty.

Presentation isn't going to win me any points though!

This is what they're supposed to look like.
If I cover them with a lot of frosting maybe I can pretend...
credit: Cupcake Blog

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mini Moments

Isn't it nice that simple things; little surprises, unexpected laughs, a hand to hold, are usually the most powerful moments in a day? Their smallness disguises their importance.