Friday, December 31, 2010

What's cookin' good lookin'?

So, I cooked. And when I cook dinner, it takes Dennis, Echo, and Connor all by surprise. It's not something that I like to do or that I do often. But, I figured one last time in 2010 wasn't too bad.

I took Connor to the grocery store with me this morning after I scoured the internet for recipes last night. I came up with "Healthified Smothered Pork Chops" and "Butter Glazed Asparagus". And yes, I do realize that eating anything that is "healthified" is negated when you are also eating something the begins with "butter". So anyway, pork chops and asparagus. Not too complicated of recipes, but I ran into some problems.

After asking the guy at Kroger - an employee, don't worry, I didn't just ask a random person who looked like they knew how to cook THIS TIME - where the thyme is, I was directed to this plant. Apparently all of the regular dried stuff was out of stock. WTF? So I got a plant. He said I can trim off what I need for the recipe and then it would be wonderful because I could just water it and it would grow back. That is AWESOME because I had a life-time supply of thyme on my Christmas list and didn't get it.

So, I come home with a plant, among other things. Dennis says that I bring home weird things when I go to the grocery store and he isn't completely making that up. I very often do bring home unusual things or at least a lot of icing.

So, OK. We have the plant. And then I realized that Canola oil was next on the list. If a recipe calls for Canola oil, can you substitute another oil (I'm talking vegetable oil, olive oil, etc.) in it's place? What is the difference between the different types of oils? I sent my mom an email, to answer this very important question at a later thyme.

Besides having a question about cooking oil, I also was a little bit weary of the brown-fin-like-things from the underside of the sliced mushrooms that I purchased. So, I trimmed all of those off. The brown stuff looked gross so I got rid of it. Am I supposed to eat that part of the mushroom (and yes, I'm really asking for help here!)?

ONE of the ironic parts of my cooking adventure is that I have this plant. And I only need 1/4 tsp on dried thyme. One-fourth of a friggin' teaspoon.

I know the suspense is building here, so I'll fill you in on the end result: we loved the meal. Dennis even rated it an 8 on a scale of 1-10 so I'm pretty impressed with myself.

And, while I'm asking for advice, I have another to throw out there. How do you handle an 18 month old that likes to hit his parents, throw fits, and will do anything to avoid having his clothes put on in the mornings? Just being hypothetical here, because we are obviously perfect parents without any problems. I mean, you should see our house. Never a toy or anything on the floor. PERfect.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hammin' it Up

Riding the Pink Pig at Macy's for the first time is a marvelous event. The combination of the pink stars on the tent, lights, happy atmosphere, pink choo-choo train ride and seeing Priscilla decked out in her pearls made a perfect afternoon that will be remembered forever.

Oh yeah, and since it was also Connor's first time riding the Pink Pig, I'm sure he enjoyed it, too.

{{Dennis just reminded me that sarcasm is hard to detect in blog posts. So, I will clarify by stating that it was a fun afternoon with Connor and Dennis at the mall but the Pink Pig ride wasn't the most exciting thing that I've ever spent my money on. Plus, Connor screamed when Priscilla approached us. And I don't entirely blame him.}}

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And we're back....almost.

Dennis commented this morning that it didn't feel like Christmas this year. I couldn't agree more. Everything came and went way too fast. And we didn't get to do a lot of the things we would have liked to have done (i.e. take Connor to see Santa Claus, go to a few Christmas party's, etc.).

As you know from my previous post, Connor has been sick. VERY SICK. And Dennis and I have been struggling, as well. Not as bad as Connor, but still bad. And Dennis doesn't get sick. EVER. Somehow Echo seems to have avoided the nasty bug or virus or whatever it was (and still is). Our Little Man had a stomach bug (projectile vomiting) turned ear infection turned bronchitis. He's slept more in the past few weeks (since being sick) than he has in his entire life. I mean, I'm talking 3.5 hour naps. Even I can't beat that record and I'm a champion sleeper!

After a round of antibiotics, prednisone, and continuing to use his nebulizer, he seems to be on the mend. He missed a week of school and Dennis and I probably should've missed as much work. Luckily Connor's Grandma, BAM, saved the day TWICE last week by taking care of Connor during the day for us.

We still aren't 100% by any stretch. Seventy-five percent might even be pushing it. But we're all a little bit better every day, which is awesome.

December had all of the makings for a perfect Christmas this year: too many awesome gifts for Connor from his grandparents, a very active Elf on the Shelf (who I miss, by the way), a white Christmas (flurries are still falling), and a fun Christmas Day celebration at the Martins that was spoiled only by a little bit of throw up in their dining room. This time it wasn't Dennis, or Echo. It was Connor. His stomach is just still so sensitive that we are now officially back on the BRAT (bread-rice-apples-toast) diet for a few more days. Let me clarify that, HE is on that diet, not us. I had some leftover ham, pineapple delight, and pecan pie for lunch and it was deeelish.

Another plus to us being house-ridden the past few weeks is that Dennis and I have almost completely memorized every line of The Polar Express. We can sing the girl-boy part in the middle of the movie, "when Christmas comes to town" very well. We're quite impressive, really. Connor is amazed and sits quite contently (even permitting nebulizer treatments) when the movie is playing, so as you can imagine, I have watched it, oh, let's go with a minimum of 89 billion times since we purchased it earlier this month.

Connor is finally on the mend and has shown signs of his regular self the last few days: eating a little bit, playing, talking non-stop, and allowing his mother out of his sight for a moment or two. So, we're getting there. And, I must say that the best gift we received for Christmas this year is seeing our son get better and fight off this nasty virus or bug.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exciting times

This weekend proved to be way more exciting than I anticipated. And not in a good way. Not entirely, anyway.

On Saturday I seemed to have a mean stomach bug that didn't want me to eat anything. I'm talking nothing. Not even toast. Well, wait. I was able to keep a piece of toast down by Saturday night.

Then, on Sunday, Connor had the same thing. I've never seen someone projectile vomit before (and that word, vomit, is just a horrible, vial word in itself so I will use puke in future references). After Sunday's experienceS (and yes, there is an 's' on that word, signifying that we were able to experience this event more than one time), I can safely say that I am no longer a projectile puke virgin. Ahh... what a relief. And a badge of honor.

The second experience is the one that I will elaborate on for your reading pleasure. Dennis was getting ready to take Echo out on a walk as I was laying Connor down for a mid-morning nap. As I did so, soy milk was regurgitated everywhere. Soy milk was recommended by our pediatrician until the running stopped from the other end... I won't elaborate on that (you are welcome). Strangely, soy milk has a sweet smell when it comes back up. Anyway, Dennis heard what sounded like a sewer gurgling, ready to explode, and timidly asked, "is everything OK up there?"

"Yes. I mean, BARF. EVERYWHERE", I answered.

Dennis decided to postpone walking Echo and instead helped me to bathe our child, throw Connor's sheets, Connors clothes, my clothes, and a few blankets into the wash. When Dennis walked into the bathroom he said, "I've never seen so much puke. It's everywhere. Even on his back."

"And look, honey. He has a puke moustache. Have you ever seen one of those before?" I responded.

It's always important to be mature when dealing with situations like this. And Dennis and I are obviously good at that.

The second adventure is best depicted in the photos below. And let me just say that trainer potty's are so friggin' cool. They play music when you make a deposit, sing songs, hold toilet paper and even pretend flush. I mean, seriously. Awesome.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy 18 months

Dear Connor,

Happy 18 months. We now have to round up and say that you are closer to being two years old than you are to being one. Did you hear that: TWO YEARS OLD. And I am pretty nervous about what the terrible two's will bring.

While I was pregnant, I signed up on to get weekly email alerts about how you were growing, changing, and developing. I STILL get those emails and one of the most recent email updates was titled, "How to get your toddler to cooperate". And that email is still saved in my inbox. Haven't had a chance to read it yet but I will. Several times.

Maybe it's not that you don't cooperate so much as you just do what you want to do. And you do it when YOU want to do it. For some reason, putting on your pajamas every night is a battle. Getting you up in the mornings and changing your diaper isn't on your personal agenda, either. Eating vegetables has been thrown out the window, too. Carseats? Nope, not for you.

Relocating items to a more ideal - in your mind - spot is another one of your favorite passtimes. When we were in Missouri for Thanksgiving visiting your Nana & Papa, your Papa found a can of green beans in the warming drawer under the stove. While your Nana & Papa may put things in strange places from time to time, I am pretty confident that they don't store canned goods in the warming drawer. Just guessing here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right. As you'll learn, Mama is always right.

While I was just going on about how you like to avoid cooperating at all costs, I do have to applaud you for how well you behaved on the 11 hour trip (ONE WAY) to Columbia. We split the trip up and stayed in Nashville each way. You were very happy, for the most part, watching your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse video. Over. And over. And over. I can't quote lines from many (ok, ANY) movies but I may be able to quote a few from that movie. I could probably do the Donald Duck voice best.

Your vocabulary is about to explode. I can just feel it. You babble in what I can only assume are sentences in your world. Long, important, and thoughtful sentences. We're going to be in trouble once you go live with your vocabulary. We did laugh when we asked you what you want to name your Elf on the Shelf. Your response wasn't exactly in English. You made a smacking noise with your lips - almost like you were trying to kiss the air in a really loud fashion. So, we'll probably wait til next year to pick an official name because I'm not sure how to spell that noise. And we have to be able to spell it because we have to record the name in your book.

We decorated the Christmas tree last night while you were in bed. So, you were incredibly excited this morning when you saw it. You marveled at it and looked at each eye-level (and strategically non-breakable) ornament individually for several minutes. The excitement in your eyes and thrill with the tree made Christmas magical for me all over again.

Your Nana & Papa sent Christmas gifts home with us and we have them displayed under the tree. Your fascination with the bows (and how they resemble stars) tonight made me nervous that I may have put them out too soon. It might be a long 23 days until you get to open them up.

I love you, Connor. As much as I jokingly complain about your growing independence, I wouldn't have you any other way.