Saturday, July 23, 2011

That One Time When I Was In A Rap Video

Yeah, no bigs.  I got to be in a rap video.

Me.  A 33 year-old, mother.

When a 33 year-old mom gets asked to be in a rap video, the answer should ALWAYS be an emphatic, screaming, shouting "YES!"...just FYI.

My friend Sarah, from Dreaming In Color works for an AMAZING video production company here in California called MasterWerks and they were filming a music video for a guy named Michael Pompeo these last couple of days and I was lucky enough to get to play a minor role in the video!  I threw on my most boring/therapisty looking outfit, tossed on my glasses and headed to the shoot yesterday!

This was WAY out of my comfort zone and I worked VERY hard not to burst out laughing at myself and follow the directions for the 1.5 hours of time I spent with the MasterWerks crew.  Not laughing at yourself is hard work.  When the final video is out, you'll probably notice that I'm real shiny, as in "I'm REAL sweaty".  Those lights are HOT to work under.  Woe is me.

I was supposed to play the role of a therapist to Michael and was pretending to write things down as he talked to me and most of what I wrote was, "I'm hot.  I'm so hot.  HOT.  Wow.  I can't believe I'm doing this.  I'm SO hot."  Real stuff, people.  Real stuff.

When the guys offered to show me the footage they shot of me nodding, writing and pretending to be confused and listening, I couldn't bring myself to watch it.  I'll just wait for the final product. I'm sure I'll look drab, therapisty and shiny in the final-cut and I'm sure lookin' forward to it.  

All in all, it was such a fun experience and I'm so glad to check "be in a rap video" off of my bucket list.
Definitely, living a better story.  :-)

Here's me and Michael, the rapper dude.

This is where my "scene" took place...

My best "therapisty" look...taken by Gavin before I left home...

If you have a chance, check-out some of Masterwerks' videos.  I was SERIOUSLY impressed and wishing they were around WAY back in the olden days when I got married.  They're AMAZING!  
Here's a link to a video they did that I LOVED:

This is serious stuff, yo.  I'm legit now, right?  Wassup?!
Sorry, got away from myself for a second...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bad Mama

Yesterday, I threw on a thin, fitted t-shirt and my running pants (the usual mom uniform) to "get my clean on" and run a couple of errands.  I was hunched over my bathroom sink brushing my teeth when I heard Noelle walk up behind me.  She stood there for a moment and then in all seriousness asked me, "Mommy, are you a robot?"

Of course, I immediately said yes.

I had no idea why that thought would cross her mind, but I had to let it play out for a few moments and try to figure it out.

I kept a straight face (as straight as you can while brushing your teeth with a Sonicare) while Noelle began to interrogate me.

"Mommy, are you really a robot?"


"Mommy, you're a robot?"


"Are you lying?"

I didn't answer that one, I just stared blankly at her in amazement that I was actually having this conversation in my lifetime.

After finishing my toothbrushing, I walked out of the bathroom and saw that there were tears welling-up in her eyes.

Oops.  Mama's gone too far.

"Oh honey, I'm not a robot.  What made you think that?"

Apparently, my thin t-shirt along with me bending over the sink allowed the little metal pieces on my bra-strap to be outlined under the back of my shirt and gave the appearance of a JET-PACK in the mind of an 8.5 year old.  A sweet, innocent 8.5 year old that trusts her mommy and who may never believe her mommy ever, ever again and who made it very clear that robot mom's are not okay.

I think a jet-pack would make errands and cleaning way cooler.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Baby Raised By Dogs

I know that I post frequently about Jude's, well...quirks.  He just gives me such dang good material, what's a mama gonna do?

My darling girl gives me plenty of "blog-worthy" material, but since she's 8.5 going on 15, she often shouts at me, "Don't put that on facebook!" or "Mommy, I beg of you, please do not blog about this!" and I grit my teeth and vow to not tell the entire world about her cuteness that may slightly embarrass her somewhere in the future.  (Gavin and I often have that same conversation...)

Today, I couldn't resist saving for posterity something that may embarrass her slightly when she's 13, but will make her proud when she is 25 and thank me someday that I took a bajillion photos and wrote about it for all to see and the memory to be saved (let's all hope and pray that's how it all works out).  Also, I begged her to let me blog about it and after my 2nd attempt at persuading her, she said "Sure."  Victory for mommy!

I walked into her room and found Noelle in an elaborate set-up and asked her what exactly was going on with the storyline...

This will forever be known as "The Greatest Dollhouse In The Entire World" and will give you a glimpse into the sweet and hilarious mind of my girl.

(Please, forgive the iphone pics - I was desperate to capture this quickly - before she changed her mind!)

See that herd of animals out in front of the house?  The Dalmatian is the boss, the Lion is chatting and they are at war and plotting their next move...

Against these guys!  It's mammals vs. bugs and lizards!  Yikes!

Notice anything strange about this house?  Hmm...where are those people I bought her that are supposed to live here?

Oh!  There you are!  Tossed in the corner like...something you toss in the corner because you don't want to play with it anymore. (At this point I heard my kids yelling back and forth "This house is for humans!" -Jude  "No, it's for animals!" - Noelle.  Repeat that about 25 times and you'll get the idea.)

Well, I did find one human involved.  See that little baby there amongst the doggies?  I asked her what that was all about and Noelle told me that the baby was being raised by the dogs...phew.

This is my favorite room in the house.  Who knows what's goin' on in here?
Let's all pause and watch the monkey go #2.

The "Party room" - although it looks like that leopard may have partied a little too hard...

The "Nursery" for all of the tiny/baby human babies allowed!  You must be raised by dogs!

All of the flowers that used to decorate the outside front of the house are now used to feed the "Horse room"...

And don't forget the dinosaur landing...

Don't be fooled by that Army guy, he's no human - he's been shot and is now just a toy for that elephant.
The pigs lounge on the couch and watch tv with the doggy...probably real housewives, I'm guessing.

The giraffe was holding that dog up so he could see because he was in the back and too small to see the lion talking in the front.  Ahh, sweet giraffey.

All in all, I think my kid has too many animal figurines.

Poor, poor human figurines.  Rest in peace.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Curry Experiment

As I've said before, my husband is a FANTASTIC cook.  Everything he makes turns out amazing and delicious.  I love it when he cooks for me.  The thing is though, he is very slow and very messy in all things kitchen.  But again, it all turns out very delicious.

I may have also shared my love for Trader Joe's before, eh?  It's the kind of magical love affair/obsession that you read about in...well, blogs.  Well, one of our favorite, favorite, favorite items from TJ's is their curry simmer sauce.  We use it often, buy it often and I do believe I could eat it everyday and never, ever in a billion years grow tired of it.  I love it so much because it is that darn yummy.

There are two different ways we cook our frequent "curry dinner" here at the Brem home.  "The Mommy Way" and "The Daddy Way" end up with similar results (one slightly tastier and one way quicker and less messy).  I decided this evening to try "The Daddy Way" and see what all the hubbub was about.  I now understand why it takes so much longer and requires more clean-up, but I still managed to keep the dishes to a minimum and don't understand the need to mess up an entire kitchen for this delectableness.

Here are the two versions:

The "Mommy Way"
*Throw some frozen chicken breasts in a saute' pan that has a lid
*Dump entire contents of jar of curry sauce on frozen chicken and turn on medium heat
*Put lid on and walk away/clean house/scold children/hang-out for 10 minutes
*After 10 minutes, dig through fridge/freezer and toss whatever vegetables you find (frozen or fresh!) into the pan with the chicken, put the lid back on and return to activities.
*After about 10-15 minutes or whenever you feel like it return to kitchen and microwave the awesome Trader Joe's organic brown rice for 3 minutes
*During the 3 minutes that the rice is cooking, throw some paper plates on the table and cut-up the chicken that was in the pan.
*Put the chicken back in the pan and tell family it is time to eat.
*Wait 5 minutes for everyone to meander to the table and eat up! Yum-yum!

Prep/cook time 30 minutes
3 dishes used in prep (bowl for rice, pan for deliciousness, spatula to stir) + misc silverware to eat with

The "Daddy Way"
*Saute' chicken in olive oil in pan until mostly cooked through and browned, set aside (10-15 min)
*Chop up every vegetable you can find into tiny pieces (At least 5 or 6 different veggies PLUS potatoes) 10-15 min
*Saute' vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper until potatoes are cooked through (15ish min)
*When you think veggies are cooked enough take them out of the pan and put them in a bowl
*Cut up the mostly cooked chicken and return it to the pan and add a little bit of sauce to the pan to finish cooking the chicken in
*When you think the chicken has cooked enough, return all veggies to the pan and add more sauce, mixing thoroughly.
*Cook the brown rice
*Forget to set the table and tell the starving family that dinner is ready.  Have wife set the table while kids lay on the floor hallucinating from hunger.
*Eat delicious dinner.
*Have wife clean up 9432983298 dishes

Prep/cook time: 60ish minutes
Dishes used: too many to count

*Gavin's dish does end up tasting better and is probably lower calories since he uses only about 1/2 bottle of curry sauce and he puts all of the love and care into the process. But mine still tastes yummy (although some of the veggies may be mushy) and is 1/4 of the effort.  Win?

Either way, it's yummy and you should buy the curry sauce and fall in love with it like I have.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Welcome to "Big Week"

Today kicks off "Big Week" here in Salinas which leads into the big Salinas Rodeo (pronounced ro-day-o - and you WILL get corrected if you pronounce it ro-dee-oh, I guarantee it). The first big event of Big Week is the Kiddie Kapers parade and we have participated the last couple of years. The kids from all over town dress-up in their cowboy/cowgirl gear or costumes and decorate their bikes/wagons/electric cars and make their way along the parade route through Old Town while thousands of people clap and cheer and make them feel like rock stars. It's one of the times that I appreciate living in a small town and we have a had rootin' tootin' time the last couple of years during the Ro-day-o festivities.

This year, Noelle has decided to decorate her own scooter all by herself and will wear her normal ranch gear (boots, jeans, cowboy hat, western shirt) and go as her normal cowgirl self through the parade. Jude, Gavin and I (parents are encouraged to dress up if they are walking the route with their kiddos) are throwing on our Giants gear in honor of the World Series champs - and in honor of Jude's obsession with the Giants. We've definitely put more effort into the decorating of the bikes than previous years (last year, I just tied Jude's "Woody" doll to the front of his bike and called it "good") and I'm feeling kinda proud of my uncraftiness today.

No joke, I turned a Toy Story bike helmet into a "Brian Wilson" faux-hawk look-alike (for those of you who aren't Giants fans, he's one of the pitchers. And I think he may be a little crazy. Or a lot, who knows?). I think I did, at least. A little bit of duct tape, a needle and thread, an old sock, some black fabric from an old apron and some cardboard and VOILA - helmet turned faux-hawk! (The kids are required to wear helmets on the parade route and Toy Story didn't match the Brian Wilson outfit, duh.)

Also, we will be painting a black beard on Jude this evening. Good times folks, good times.

Brian Wilson look-alike...

Looks just like him, huh?

Spittin' image, by golly!

Bike all decorated and ready to go...

Noelle's scooter is ready to go!

See you at the Ro-day-0!

P.S. - This is how Gavin spent his afternoon...torturing the children.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'd like to introduce you to our newest family member: Dave!

We love Dave.

Dave is named "Dave" in honor of Dave Ramsey. Both Dave's have really helped us a lot in our conquest to become completely debt free and now we are just a handful of months away from that dream becoming reality! Wahoo!

Well, thanks to Dave the car joining the fam, I now get the privilege of driving "Rocket" who is our beloved red Subaru. Rocket is also now affectionately referred to as the "Patty Wagon" and cannot sustain speeds over 72 mph or he starts to have a bit of a seizure. He's kinda sensitive, so I'm real careful with Rocket and love him dearly. He's such a champ and has been a part of the Brem fam since 2001!

Doesn't Rocket look all spiffy with his new hubcaps?

Rocket even got christened this week! Yay!

We did say goodbye to our old friend, "Lady" and goodbye to her horrendous car payment. We miss her, but know we're in a better place now without her. I'm sure she's just fine without us and appreciates not being driven 98437592348 miles each week for Gavin's job. Dave is up for that challenge now!

And look, Rocket and Dave are BFF's already. Cuties.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


Dear Bindi,

I'm glad your attempts at dislocating my shoulder while I hold your leash on walks are getting fewer.

I don't love it when you dig holes in the yard.

I do not enjoy the dog hair tumbleweeds that blow through the backyard in the breeze.

I think you smell.

I'm not excited about how frequently I have to wash your snot off the sliding glass door.

I don't love finding your hair in my food.

I like how you lick everyone.

I don't think it's cool that you've given up on "fetch".

Thank you for allowing Jude to ride you and pull your tail.

Thank you for making my kids giggle.

I think it is funny when you swim around aimlessly in the pond and jump into water troughs. Even though they make you smell really bad. Really. Bad.

Thanks for making me feel a little bit safer when my hubby is away for the night on business.

Do you think you could poop less?

I think it is gross when you roll around on dead animals.

I like to pretend that the black spot on your tongue is a tatoo.

In Jude's words, "You are my black dog."

I don't hate you anymore, so happy birthday.


Friday, July 8, 2011

The Return Of The Slam

The Giants

Our family has become obsessed,
With the baseball team that is the best.

"Fear the Beard" and "Pat the Bat",
Are common phrases where we live at.

Buster, Aubrey, Panda and Tim,
We shout their names and pray they win.

Our home is filled with orange and black,
and sunflower seeds are a common snack.

Rowand's wiggly batting stance,
Makes us giggle with every glance.

When Wilson steps onto to the mound,
In awe we watch him throw his rounds.

Vogelsong and Cain we love to see,
and lots of K's and Win's from Madison B.

With Miguel Tejada and Cody Ross,
You'd think they'd never get a loss.

We sit in tension and watch and pray,
As walk-offs happen nearly every day.

I now have come to understand,
The torture it is to be a fan.

Cutest fans ever...

Will Clark Jersey for Father's Day...

Fear the Beard...

The night the Giants won the World Series!

Made it to the game last night with our amazing friends Joel and Deana and this is the best photo we could get...
and I LOVE it...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Explanation

So, I read this book recently called "A Million Miles In A Thousand Years" (I know that book titles are supposed to be underlined, but I'm not really smart enough to figure out how to do that in blogger). This is the book that led me to take a break from blogging, drive out to the beach 20 minutes before sunset to watch the sun come down over the water with my kids, order a burger made with donuts for buns, not allow my children to watch morning cartoons and read more books in one month than I've read in the last couple of years combined. We've been trying to "live a better story" since reading that book and I highly recommend it (both the book and the life living).

Here are a few random notes from this past month that I know you are dying to hear:

*Bindi is almost 3 and is slightly less of a pain of a doggie.
*If you feed children chinese food for dinner, they will in fact, be hungry 1 hour later. Its not a myth.
*Bacon on S'mores is delicious.
*Cold Pinot Grigio is the perfect beverage on a hot evening.
*My children have become a great disappointment to me due to their lack of enthusiasm for roller coasters.
*I absolutely have the power to manipulate my children to ride things that they are deathly afraid of, but I choose to wield that power wisely.
*It is SO much fun to have friends visit.
*Restaurants featured on Food Network shows may not necessarily be awesome.
*Cute things sold at boutique stores in tourist towns for big bucks can sometimes be found at Marshalls for small bucks.
*Keeping a surprise trip to Disneyland a secret from my kids is extremely difficult for me.
*All amusement park food is not created equally.
*Jude is the funnest person in the history of the world to watch a baseball game with.
*When the camera company says that its going to take 5 to 7 days to repair a camera, what they really mean is that it is going to take 3 weeks.
*Twitter is really fun, but would be way funner if more of my friends were on there (get on there!)

Here are a smattering of photos from the past month (all on my iphone since my dumb camera took so dang long to get fixed at the dumb factory) .

Bacon cheeseburger with Donut Buns

Heavenly Bruschetta (Recipe is coming!)

Noelle tightrope walking in the park

Beautiful Veggie Tacos

Giving me a heart attack at Lover's Point

Jude "helping" with selling cattle

Saw my sister on TV!!!

Tormenting me with their disdain for the coasters

A fun visit from the Fletcher's

Bacon S'mores...drool

Giraffe spots = freckels?

Apparently, whales like Jello

S'mores on the beach and on the forehead

Jude's grill at the Giants game

U2 concert with the Zippo app

1st attempt at fishing

Chili cook-off = Best.Decision.Ever.

Failed attempt to catch a crawdad

Goodbye to the Pilot!

Happy Father's Day to YOU!

1st Cavity

Gav WINNING the 4th of July "Bucket Brigade" contest

A restaurant in my hometown caught on fire and I was there to not lend a hand, but to take cell phone photos!

Lots of cows waving goodbye to the ranch

The STATS for last month
3 Giants games attended
2 amusement parks visited
1 stand-up comedy show attended
9 out of town guests
1 chili cook-off
1 car sold
1 car purchased
1 cavity filled
1 incredible U2 concert attended
1 hometown restaurant seen burning down
1 last minute trip to the Northwest for a family funeral
1 weekend trip to Tahoe
1 overnight trip to Sonoma/Napa
Hundreds of hours saved from watching TV
Dozens of hours spent watching/listening to Giants games
25 baby frogs held in one hand by Noelle
0 frogs held in hands of Jude
1 time being spotted on TV
1 time spotting my sister and nephew on TV
A billion calories consumed
A couple of spats/disagreements with family members
Many beautiful days of sunshine
Many, many adventures
Lots of books read
Lots of Vitamin D absorbed

=1 family living a better, less boring story!

Now, you're all caught up!