hey Mary, he likes it!

I introduced my son Elias, who will be 3 in June (what?!), to the joy of SYTYCD a couple of days ago, watching one of my all-time favorite routines on my phone in the car on the way home from the library (that was after he requested I play Lady Gaga's Alejandro for him - the song, not the video...I kid you not).  While my viewing habits have changed very little since his arrival shortly after season 6 began, my blogging habits around the show definitely took a hit.  Let's compare, shall we, a post from two days before his birth (here) with a post from the beginning of last season (here).  The former is too long for even me to re-read.  The latter is awfully ambitious and erroneously so since that was the first, and last, time I wrote about the show last season (buying a house and moving - again - will do that).  I probably tweeted it up from time to time but blogging is such a commitment.  I figure if I can keep up with this daily countdown nonsense, surely I can write about the show once a week when it starts, right?  Time will tell.  In the meantime, here's the clip I shared with Elias, who requested to watch it again immediately after (typical toddler).



how 'bout a little countdown?

Are you as excited as I am about the return of So You Think You Can Dance just two months from today?! Yeah, okay, probably not, but I'm going to go ahead and count us down anyway (as if we needed to help time along - it's almost April, people!). It's fairly ambitious of me to think I can blog about the show every day between now and the May 26th premier, especially considering I've hardly blogged about the show at all the past two or three seasons, but it doesn't hurt to try, right?

To get started, checking Facebook earlier today, a sidebar ad caught my eye...something about how Glee's Heather Morris had auditioned for SYTYCD Season 2.  Get out of town, right?! So I did a little Google search and lo and behold, came across this "package," as they say on the show, following her brush with SYTYCD stardom:

It's funny, I remember Ben but not Heather, and yet she's consistently one of my favorite parts of Glee each week, even when other elements continue to bug me (do the Warblers always have to wear those dorky uniforms?!). Girlfriend went on to dance for Beyonce before landing the role of Brittany on Glee, so I'd say she's done pretty well for herself.


the hungry toddler: an early dinner with suits

What do you make for dinner on your third night of solo parenting following two nights of microwaved leftovers? Eat out, of course! (Can you tell mama does not like to cook?) I picked up the little one a little early today so we could run a couple of errands near the lake and enjoy a brief break from the rain. Since we were in the area I decided we'd have dinner at Specialty's, a favorite for lunch (that we try to avoid lately thanks to both dietary and budgetary changes post New Year) but rarely enjoyed for dinner and I don't think the hungry toddler in question has ever dined there.

I had my usual - turkey & cranberry, substitute whole wheat bread, no mayo, no sprouts - while my companion enjoyed the "peanut butter & stuff" - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sliced banana and green apple accompaniments. He seemed rather pleasantly surprised by the presence of fruit on his sandwich. 

Whoa, that is one big sandwich for one little dude!  He did a pretty good job on it and saved a little room for part of a snickerdoodle cookie when we got home.

Although it is right across the street (and lake) from Fairyland, I wouldn't necessarily think to take my toddler there to eat (I should specify, to eat there), but, aside from a bathroom that's in the lobby of the adjoining office building, it's not a bad place to have a bite to eat and run off a little rain-induced stir-crazy energy.  The Oakland Specialty's (which opened right after we returned to the area a couple of summers ago; previously enjoyed years ago in SF) is in the 150 Grand Avenue office building, right next to One Kaiser Plaza (where I worked during college...talk about strange, returning with my offspring so many years later) and the newish cathedral.

Y'know, the one that looks like a...Georgia O'Keefe painting?

Anyway, we enjoyed running around the empty plaza, exploring the fountain, the immaculately manicured church grounds, and the cherry blossoms.

Surely I burned enough calories chasing after my toddler to deserve that semi-sweet chocolate chip cookie I saved for post-toddler-bedtime. Right?


fresh from the Makery: WARNING graphic content!

Dressing up the plain white wooden letters that make up my son's name (obligatory Grandma gift?) is a simple project I've been wanting to tackle for awhile now (along with the hand-print kit, also from Grandma, both of which we received months before my son was even born, almost three years ago).

Around the holidays I picked up some print remnants at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (along with a stack of other stuff I've yet to put to use). 

Fast-forward a few more months, use wooden letters as templates to cut out matching paper letters, attach with a little acrylic medium, and you've got yourself an alphabet makeover!

I prefer sponge brushes for this kind of project because I dislike brush strokes (detest them!).  I squeezed a little matte acrylic medium (use gloss if you're into that kinda thing) into a reusable container and applied medium - which acts like an adhesive in this case - to both the front of the letter and the back of the paper letter cut-out.

Then slap the two together like a sandwich and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles in the paper.  I like to reinforce the seal with another coat of medium over the top of the paper.

The medium has a cloudy quality when wet but should dry clear.

And here are all the letters drying:

I'll post a true "after" image when these are dry and in his room somewhere.  We're in a bit of a room transition at the moment, what with the promise of a "big boy bed" looming in his near future.  His room has never had much of a theme, having been through two moves in his 2.7 or so years, but now that we're settled down a bit, and with a total room makeover necessary for squeezing in a twin bed, it should provide an opportunity to address some bare walls.  Trains still reign supreme around here, but maybe these print shop remnants will inspire a super friends graphic novel kind of theme.  Hey, a mama can dream, right?