Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthdays, beaches, BBQs and baking.

So, how was your weekend? Ours was eventful (as usual) but quite fun.
Saturday was a beautiful day and consisted of birthdays, beaches and BBQ.
Got to get in those beach days before the San Diego "winter" comes and we have to wear hoodies to the beach instead of bikinis. Brrr.

Sunday, I had two things on my list. 1. Go for a run 2. Make a Strawberry-Rhubarb pie from scratch. I accomplished both. Sometimes it's nice to make my lists short and attainable to ensure I get to cross everything off, just a small victory.

I'm not sure where the wild hair for Strawberry-Rhubarb pie came from as it definitely symbolizes to me, "Minnesota fall." Why I would crave a "Minnesota fall" feeling on a San Diego summers day is beyond me. Perhaps I just wanted to escape my reality for a few hours or perhaps I just wanted pie. No need to over-analyze it, it made me AND my boys happy. That's all I ask for.

The recipe I pulled from There are a million pie recipes out there so I chose this particular recipe for 2 reasons. 1. Its call "Grandmas" Strawberry-Rhubarb pie. (usually Grandmas really know what they are doing in the pie department.)
2. It called for Tapioca and I am a huge fan. I have a scary love for tapioca.

The link and recipe are below if anyone is interested. I will say, if you make it from scratch, crust included, (which I did) it's a commitment. It says total time 1 hr 20 min. It took me approx 4 hrs and 39 min.

However, I have a brain injured husband, whom I had to talk out of climbing up a ladder to go on the ROOF to get a ball that was stuck. As well as a 4 year old who loves to "help" in the kitchen. You do the math.

Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Recipe
Total Time:
1 hr 20 min (in a perfect world)
15 min
1 hr 5 min
1 pie

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
1/2 cup cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1/4 cup salted butter
Pinch salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/4 cup ice cold water

2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Large granule sugar
Crust Preparation:

Using 2 pastry blenders, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt. Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough. Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into 2 disks. Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling Preparation:
Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. Also, you can use a pie bird for extra decor. Let cool before serving.

The beach

The park, the reward for staying in the stroller while I run. It's all about compromise.

Yes, in his pjs at the park. We do what we want.

The goods

My "helper"



Thursday, August 25, 2011

I've got 99 problems...and a brain injury ain't one.

In anticipation of a busy weekend, and in lieu of a hot summers night with the fam, here are some pics. I must preface by saying, today, one of E's wishes came true. He got prescription glasses. Woohoo! Finally, he can wear specs that serve a purpose. I must say, he looks pretty handsome.

The 3 (4 including Henri) of us had sort of a festive evening. E and I had a very good therapy session earlier this evening with his Neuro-Psychologist, to which at the end of the session the doctor says "ok, well, I'd definitely like to see you next week" and he was looking at me.
Perfect, because I have A LOT to talk about.

I truly believe we are going to come out of this brain injury journey, stronger than ever because I've never spent so much time cultivating a relationship (with E and with myself,) putting everything on the table as it turns up, and resolving it. It is an amazing opportunity for both of us and I'm not sure why "therapy" has such a stigma but obviously those who criticize it, are probably the most fucked up. So here are some snaps of the happy family feeling a whole lot "smarter" today.
P.s. Thank you RAEN Optics for "donating" E's new specs. You guys rule!

If you're happy and you know it, eat mashed potatoes for breakfast

I am not going to lie, I’d been having “one of those” (weeks) mornings….and then I brought Hudson to preschool. I literally left the place in tears...of laughter. Today was not abnormal by any means (mind you these are 2-5 year olds) and here is what I saw.
1. A little girl putting “body” paint all over herself, including her face.
2. A kid in a very large, very muscular batman outfit just sitting on a tree stump.
3. A group of kids (including mine) eating their “lunch” at 8:30 am. Mmm. Mashed potatoes and gravy.
4. Open door, multiple kid, bathroom using.
5. Two kids digging a whole to get to the “center of the earth”

Honestly, how can your day not improve after seeing all of that? Why can’t we, as adults be this free? Seriously, who cares if it’s August, if you feel like rocking your last years (Halloween) Barney Rubble outfit to work, what is stopping you? Body paint, who says it is only acceptable for Marti Gras?

As adults we get so uptight sometimes about work, home, life. We (me) are pissed there are never ending dishes in the sink, we always feel like WE are the overburdened partner in the relationship, the laundry is endless, the bills are too high, our pants are too tight, the groceries are gone....again.

Next time I feel this way, I am going to do what a preschooler would do (with an adult responsibilities.) Put some on some body paint with my Sexy Devil costume and eat my lunch on my way to work. The rest of you can do your part as any good preschooler would, and act like nothing is unordinary. Having my own kid and being around kids has taught (and keeps teaching) me that happiness can be very simplistic; you just have to be open to it….. and willing to carry around a life sized transformer, all day.

(Hudson when we went to pick him up from school today. Apparently, he was inspired as well.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Take the long way home

We were all starving today after work/school/brain camp. So we went and had an acai bowl and East Coast pizza (it's a serious addiction) for an after school "snack."

When we got home, I walked down to our mail box to get the mail (it's just next door by our neighbor) I wished it were much farther away. I look forward to my walk to the mail box each day because it's about the only time that I get completely to myself where I can just zone out and be alone. No kid. No dog. No hubs. No cell phone. No computer.

Granted, I do have alone time in the car when I'm driving around for work, but it is hardly relaxing driving in Southern California traffic and I certainly can't zone out. I have alone time at night after the boys go to bed but there is always something to be done or I am asleep with them. As for the bathroom, well, we have an open door policy in our house (my fault.) Actually, the bathroom is more like a meeting place in our house. Some people gather around the kitchen table. Some gather round the fireplace. We gather at the shitter. About 90% of the time, the entire family (including the dog) has joined me by the time I'm done. It's like they see me go in and say "perfect, let's go ask her every burning question we have, she can't go anywhere!"

So, if I don't call you, text you, facebook you, or email you back in a timely manner, just know, I am spending quality time with the fam.... or.... I am out getting the mail.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A kid and a potty

It's not what you say it's how you say it.

So, I wished the asshole well today (and truly meant it) and then politely asked him to never contact my family again. Have a nice day.

Now that, that chapter is closed, I wonder what my husband will throw my way next? A few days of rest, I hope.

I mean, it was really nothing a hot (and cold) shower, long run, 3 Tylenol, new nail polish, night sweats and re-heated tacos couldn't cure.
NBD (no big deal) my new motto.

That being said, I'm ready for fall. My favorite time of year. Crock-potting, hat wearing, footballing (because nothing says "nap" like "football"), pumpkin spice latte-ing. I'm ready for it all. Not to mention every month that passes this year is another month down the brain injury drain. I wouldn't say I'm wishing away the time, I mean, it's not THAT odd to listen to The Rat Pack Christmas album in August, is it?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tacos anyone?

You take advantage of me, shame on me. You take advantage of my brain injured husband (or child for that matter) and you can say goodbye to your manhood because I will cook them up like tacos and serve them for dinner. Speaking of tacos, they happened to be on the menu tonight and were delicious.

My husband has a huge heart, one of his most admirable attributes. I am a little more cautious (skeptical.) So, after a few shady "instances" I did what any good cops daughter would do...I fact checked, called in for back up and ate a donut.

As a result, there is one less POS to clutter up our world. Shame on you for making ME look like the bad guy in front of my husband. Enjoy day time television you asshole because no one is going to hire an untrustworthy SOB like you in an economy like this. Hopefully, we will not run into each other at breakfast one day or I'll tell you how I really feel.

Taco recipe to follow.

Happy Monday.

Xo Mandy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mr. Hudson

Hudson the train maker, deep thinker, observer, dreamer, flower picking lover.

Get your laugh on.

Um. Yes- that's a pic of an actual toilet in our house.

Last night E and I went with our friends M & M to see the live comedy show of Daniel Tosh. He has a show on Comedy Central, which I'm not a big fan. However, I love his stand up. He's not overly vulgar, but is not afraid to say fuck when appropriate. He definitely crosses a few lines but he wouldn't be a comedian if he didn't. Like he said, there is NOTHING in the world, that you can't find something funny about. I would have to agree, it's all about perspective, right? We differ in that, I wouldn't necessarily make a Joke about everything (like unborn babies) but you can find funny in almost anything. Even brain injuries.

E had a good time....I think. Going out with him at this point is a lot like going to Europe. It can be a lot of work, and you're not always fully enjoying the moment when you're in it, but when you get home, unpack your bags and look through your pictures, you think to yourself, Wow, I had a really good time. I can't wait to go back.

Speaking of travel, I'm dying to go somewhere, like on an airplane with a passport. It's not going to happen this year, but I feel something coming on in our near (next 5 years) future. I even bought Budget Travel mag because well, we've got to start somewhere. Im taking suggestions if you have any magical spot we must see.

Xo Mandy

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The big move

Its offical. We have moved into

Thanks for keeping up with the Arterburns. I will continue to write about the progress of my hubs E as he recovers from a TBI (traumatic brain injury)that happened in March of this year.
(A continuance from

I will also be writing about all the other things that make our world go round. Believe me, I've got a lot to talk about.