I’m not sure one person should be subjected to so much excitement in one day!
The carnival yesterday was a blast. MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) had taken over the gym on base and transformed it into a carnival for the kids. There were seven or eight inflatables set up — two obstacle courses, an enormous slide that had to be good twenty feet tall, four bounce houses, and even one where the kids were tethered to a bungee cord, and they had to see which of the two could get the farthest before they were pulled backwards by the bungee cord. There were crafts to be done, face-painting, free massages for the parents, free coffee from Starbucks, and relatively cheap food. And all of this for $5 per family.
When we first got there, a kids’ band called the Toejam Puppet Band was playing, and Grace was immediately drawn to it. She watched the band members put silly wigs on all the kids, but she was having none of it. Then they had a song in which they encouraged the kids to get up and dance, and Grace was all over that. But then she lost sight of Kurt, so she got scared and raced over to us.
We stayed for a couple of hours. Grace got completely stuck in one bounce house that had a slide to it, so she kept bouncing around in the bounce house, and then launching herself down the slide. As soon as she got to the bottom, she wanted to start all over again. We were happy to oblige her; anything to wear her out, though she still refused to take a nap.
Kurt’s lasagna turned out quite well. We let it stand for quite some time after pulling it out of the oven, but it still fell apart. I loved that it had Italian sausage in addition to ground beef; it gave it a really fantastic flavor. I just wish there had been more mozzarella on top. Kurt and I agree that while it was a good recipe (one he found online yesterday), it isn’t one we wish to keep. We felt it needed more sauce and more cheese. So we’ll soldier on and try to find another good recipe. My mom gave me her recipe quite some time ago; if I can find it, I might just try that.
The pan you see on top of the stove is dinner for our neighbors’ kids. They are extremely picky kids and eat very little in the way of variety. I was surprised they wouldn’t eat lasagna! How do you not like lasagna?? Mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, tomatoes, ground beef, Italian sausage, and lasagna noodles. And if you’re not a fan of tomatoes, there were really very few tomatoes in this version! There was hardly any sauce once he baked the lasagna; you had to look hard to find a tomato scattered throughout the dish.
So Ms Cheez-It brought over a complete dinner for her kids. It was basically the same ingredients as was in the lasagna, except no tomatoes, and hash browns instead of pasta. They refused to eat the lasagna and only ate their hash-brown stuff.
All the more lasagna for me!
A couple of hours after gorging ourselves on lasagna, it was time for cake. I decided to get a Carvel ice cream cake (because I prefer Carvel cakes to Baskin Robbins, Catie), and fortunately they’re now sold at grocery stores. I wasn’t sure, you see, because there’d been a Carvel shop near my house when I was a kid, and I didn’t know if you could get the cakes anywhere else after they went out of business. Kurt wrote my name on it for me, and he actually did a great job of it. I am doubly amazed because he spelled my name right (it’s a running joke in our household) and because he tends to shake when he has to concentrate on very close work.
Don’t ask him to thread a needle. He shakes too much.
The cake was heavenly. I was so glad we found one.
Then it was present-opening time. My sister had sent me tulips, my favorite, for my birthday, and my good friend J made me a really brightly-colored apron to wear as I’m cooking. Finally I got to Kurt’s gift, which he had wrapped in blue wrapping paper and sealed with electrical tape and aluminum tape.
I was flabbergasted. Electrical and aluminum tape on one gift? I feel so loved.
Inside was a pink-trimmed Coach bag, which is so pretty, and so unexpected. It’s a bit larger than I normally carry, but it’s PINK! I think I can manage.
We were sitting around, completely sated with ice cream and laughter, when the phone rang. AGAIN. I mean, I know it was my birthday, but I still jumped every time the phone rang yesterday. We’re the type of household that only really gets telemarketing calls, and those are few and far between ever since we put ourselves on the Do Not Call list.
This time it was my mom, calling to remind me of the lunar eclipse that was going on. I bolted outside to find the moon (like I know offhand where the moon is supposed to be) and sure enough, the eclipse was really visible! Kurt grabbed my camera and the tripod, but it was so darn cold out there I couldn’t really set up the shot properly. Kurt knows enough about my camera that he felt confident with taking some photos, and he managed to get a couple of really great shots!
How’s that for a great shot?? He’s turning into quite the photographer!