Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Day in the life of... plus a recipe.

I recently read a post on askmoxie.org about not using the word, "OK?" at the end of your commands that you give to your children. Something about how saying, "OK?" at the end of the sentence might confuse them into thinking they have a say in the matter. Moxie, as well as many other parents, found this hilarious. As did I! She then went on to ask parents what other rules they break with their kids. Mine was EASY! 

Welcome to the Sesame Street trance! 

On some mornings, after my not born yet, trouble maker, of a son wakes me up at 4am to practice his break dancing and karate moves, I find it difficult to function at full capacity. Enter Big Bird! Adam adores Sesame Street. And I have to admit - I'm quite entertained also. He usually will only let me watch 20 minutes at most before he's over it and off into the cupboards or pantry. I really need to put the child proof door knob thing on the pantry door... 

There's this big TV controversy with moms. Very few moms admit to letting their kids stare at the boob tube. I find the idiot box useful for things like unstacking and stacking the dishwasher, prepping dinner, or sleeping with my eyes open.

My genius brother put this together. I giggled when I saw the "S"word coming out of his mouth. 
Yes, I'm that mom.

Don't worry, we do other things too. 

Like baby signs! Adam loves baby signs. He's soooooo good at it. He knows well over 20 signs now. He loves learning new ones and is a quick student. Andy recently taught him how to sign baby. He grabs his belly and wiggles. He knows several signs for bed time, meal time, bath time, pets, and other daily routine things we do. 
We had a baby signs class last Saturday and learned about Bath Time. Adam sat in the pool with the balls for most of the class. I had been warned that the kids would get wet. But in typical pregnant fashion, I forgot. Luckily, he was more interested in splashing than swimming. 

Adam has two very special favorite things. The weirdest of the two is to brush his teeth. He could brush his teeth for an hour. And sometimes does. Recently, Adam has been throwing full fledged tantrums every single time I put him in his car seat. He's quite strong, I'm quite pregnant, and my car is quite high, that it makes it difficult to truly "force" him to sit in the car seat without him helping me just a bit. I've tried time out, I've tried time in, I've tried yelling, I've tried discussing the pros and cons of car seats, I've gotten out my check book and asked him how much... I get no where! I've been racking my brain trying to think of how to get this child into his car seat. So, yesterday, in the Lowes parking lot, as I was counting to 100 so as not to lose my patience with my toddler who was totally in protest of the car seat - which I might add is the coolest car seat ever as it rotates!!!! - I came up with the perfect bribe... MR. TOOTHBRUSH! 

And let me tell you. Mr. Toothbrush is coming with us for every car trip now. As Adam and I headed to the car this morning to meet up with his buddy, Landry, and his mom, Tina, at the children's museum, I carried Mr. Toothbrush in my pocket. I had even smeared the tiniest dab of our baby tooth paste on it to "sweeten" the deal. Sure enough, as we neared the car door, Adam's knees started to wobble, his face began to turn scary shades of red, his arms started flapping like a chicken who was going no where... I calmly said, "Adam, if you sit in your car seat, you can brush your teeth." 

And just like that, Adam's knees straightened, his face returned to normal, his eyes twinkled, his arms stretched out for me to pick him up and buckle him in. 

It worked again on P Street in downtown Lincoln as we were walking back to the car.

Moments like these make me feel like super mom. 

We had fun - as we always do - at the Children's museum! 

When Adam's not brushing his teeth, he wants to be outside. He generally wakes up from his nap and starts patting his head - which is the sign for hat. 

But just like the story goes... If you give a toddler a hat, he will ask for his mittens. And if you give him his mittens, he will ask for his boots. And if you give him his boots he will ask for his coat. And if you give him his coat he will look at you with such sadness in his eyes, crocodile tears will fall, after you tell him its way too cold to go outside. You inevitably will bundle up as well and walk around the house two times in the bitter, freezing, below zero wind chill so that A) He will believe you next time you tell him its too cold and B) Not make you feel like the worst mother alive who won't take her child outside. 

We came inside to thaw and thought we'd make this for dinner!
 Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 T store bought or homemade pesto
A few shakes of crushed red peper (to taste - its spicy stuff!)
1/4 cup or more of chopped sun dried tomatoes 
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
handful of grated parmesan cheese - or more. Like way more. 
1 lb cooked bow tie pasta. 

Cook pasta while you do the following:
Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and pesto and crushed red pepper. Cook until chicken is just starting to brown, stirring frequently. 
Reduce heat to medium low. Add sun dried tomatoes, broth and wine and scrap up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Mmmm. Flavor!
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through. 
Add heavy whipping cream and parmesan. 
Let it simmer for a bit to reduce and slightly thicken. 5 min or so.
Stir in pasta and let the pasta soak up the sauce for a bit before serving. 

This is Andy's favorite dish. I make it way too often for him. Its amazingly good. How can it not be! Wine? Cream? Cheese? Yes please! 

Make sure to comment, OK? :-) What rules do you break with your kids?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ready or Not!

Things are really cookin' here! I've got this huge bun in my little ol' oven. My kitchen has been overdrive trying to keep up with my growing appetite and my growing family.

Finding ways to entertain a busy toddler while trying to keep this said bun in the aforementioned oven can be tricky some days.

One solution has been a baby signs class. Adam and I are attending a weekly baby signs class with my cousins and a friend. He loves it.

He also loved the other little boy's pacifier....... So much so that he stole it from the little helpless boy and to his mother's horror, shoved it in his mouth.

A few days after our first baby signs class Adam has caught a really awful cold. I tried telling him that's what happens you suck on other people's pacifiers. Its a life lesson. But I'm pretty sure he'd still do it again.

Another way to entertain the beast, I mean, toddler was to take him to the Children's Museum to meet up with a great friend who has a little guy the same age as Adam. They had so much fun. He could have been there for hours. We're looking forward to going back as soon as the terrible, awful, no good, very bad cold is completely gone.
In other news:

The To Do lists are growing at an alarmingly rate.

1) Prepare and freeze as many mspi meals as possible before April.
2) Get a pedicure. like yesterday. Trim toe nails and wash feet first so as not to be utterly embarrassed.
3) Tell everyone in the world the difference between visiting and helping.
4) Buy a dresser with a changing table topper and put baby clothes away.
5) Redecorate the toddler's room so I don't feel so guilty about turning his world upside soon.  Everybody knows that a Star Wars themed room will make it all better.
6) Teach toddler how to talk.
7) Throw a dinner party before I vanish from society into a sleep deprived, frizzy, frazzy, milk maid.
8) Make a Valentine's Day wreath.
9) Eat more yogurt. Eat less chocolate chipless cookies.
10) Brush teeth TWICE a day. EVERYday.

Whew! And that's just the upstairs list.

My husband has been super supportive. Many of our conversations have gone like this:

Irrational Pregnant Lady: "I-i-if we d-d-don't get a dresser right away, then the new baby will have no cloooooothes."


Supportive, amused Husband: "We can get a dresser really soon. That's ok. We are going to need a new dresser. Might as well get one now. "

Irrational Pregnant Lady: "B-b-b-but you said you didn't want to spend ANY money on ANY thing for ANY one and so we c-c-c-an't get a n-n-new anything. And so n-n-now we have nothing for the new baby."


Supportive, confused Husband: "I don't remember saying that we couldn't buy anything for the new baby."

Irrational Pregnant Lady shoots him daggers.

Supportive, smart Husband: "I'm really sorry that you THOUGHT you heard me say that."

Irrational Pregnant Lady shoots him deadly daggers.

Supportive, smarter Husband: "I mean, I'm really sorry that I gave you that impression. We can buy a new dresser. What kind should we get?"

Irrational Pregnant Lady, "I don't know. Whyyyy do I have knnnnn-ow everything. Having to m-m-make all the decisions is ov-v-v-erwhelming."

More sobbing.

Supportive, bewildered husband, "I like this one from pottery barn."

Irrational Pregnant Lady, "You ar-r-r-en't even listening to me."

And now that I'm sure you're dying to know, we have almost picked out the baby's new dresser. Which is great news, because apparently the new dresser means the baby will have clothes to wear! 

Really, though... Everyone is pulling their weight here, trying to get ready for the new baby. 

11 weeks to go. 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Catching up - Part 2: And then it was Christmas!

We are just now catching our breath from the whirlwind fall. Actually, I find I'm always trying to catch my breath. There's this big baby - and I don't use the term big lightly - in my belly taking up all my lung room. Then there's this active boy - and I don't use the term active lightly - in my house who keeps me on my toes, on my knees, outside, inside, up, down, round and round... You get the picture? Just thinking about it leaves me taking big, deep breaths again!

December was unforgettable. We kicked off the month with a huge community Cantata. I served as assistant director and even got to direct one of the songs. Standing in front of a 70 voice adult choir was amazing. Something I'll never forget. I also was the director for the children's choir. I had 50 kids sing in the choir this year. Almost double as previous years. I didn't realize we had 50 kids signed up until dress rehearsal. I then realized why I'd been so tired every Thursday night after the kids' rehearsals!
(Photos courtesy of Stacy Ideus. Visit her blog here.)
A couple days before the huge show I caught the stomach flu and ended up in the ER. I became extremely ill and got dehydrated very quickly. Preggos are usually just one glass of water away from dehydration, according to my OB. My blood pressure plummeted and my heart rate became tyachacardic - really fast. So, the ER doc pumped me full of fluids and drugs and send me home feeling much better. By the performance day I was feeling pretty good! Nothing was going to keep me from performance day.

(Photos courtesy of Stacy Ideus. Visit her blog here.)
We performed in the brand spankin' new Wahoo Learning-Arts Center - an amazing theatre for such a small town. The kids were fantastic. Cute. Ornery. But as soon as those lights came on and the curtain opened - they were pros. They smiled and followed my flailing directing arms. I was so proud!

The next weekend, my brother and his girlfriend flew in from California to celebrate Christmas. Luke's lady is named Cara. And I love her. I hope they are together forever and they come visit us more. I somehow conned Cara into making a huge Christmas dinner for our family and my inlaws. She was such a trooper and never cussed directly at me even though I kept saying, "Just one more dish..."

We decided to have a blended family Christmas this year, combining my family and Andy's family. There's only so many days we all get to be together now that everyone is spread out. And it was way easier on this mama.

Little did Cara know - we would be making: Lobster Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Bearnaise Sauce
Real Creamed Corn Pudding
Broccolini with Pecan Brown Butter
Spiced, Glazed Carrots with Sherry and Citrus
Mushroom Potato Gratin
Libby's Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
(Click on the dish and it will take you to the link!)

Dinner was so good. So special. So special to have most of our family gathered around our table. We sure missed those who couldn't be there though.

Christmas was kinda lost on Adam. He enjoyed the tissue paper and gift bags for awhile. He really appreciated Santa who didn't wrap his toys and just assembled them and set them by the tree. Santa brought him some art supplies, a bubble blower lawn mower, and a car that he can ride in while mom and dad push. He loves them! He also got a potty chair and is learning potty signs. We're not ready to potty train just yet but we're making it familiar and he definitely is getting the hang of it!

The rest of December was a fun blur of family get togethers and then a not so fun blur as several members of the family got sick. Including my husband. Who got the flu. The real flu. The kind the flu shot prevents. I know someone who will be getting their freaking flu shot next year. Anyway. This is a happy post!

Now we are on to the doldrums of winter. Its been amazingly nice out and we've still managed to keep up our long circus walks with our neighbor. But with this baby due in less than 3 months - my walking is turning to waddling. We're starting to nest like crazy people. Well, I am starting to and Andy is helping me along and keeping very busy with his new wood workshop hobby.

I hope you all are having a good 2012!