Oh The Irony

At the beginning of the school year, I cleaned out a bag full of books from the kid’s collection. Some duplicates, a few that we had out grown, some that we didn’t like, etc. I donated a bag of them to Auggie’s class. They love books and the board books are perfect for little hands to explore.

When I picked up Auggie from school after lunch one day, he was sitting on the little couch, totally engrossed in a book. I realized it was Goodnight, Gorilla  or as he calls it “Night Night Monkey”. His teacher told me that it’s his favorite and he gets it every day to look at.

As I pried it from his squishy little hands, I reassured him that we had the very same book at home. We never read it because you can’t read it. It’s essentially a picture book, there’s like 4 words in the whole thing. And because by the end of the day, my ability to cleverly narrate a picture book is lacking so we stick with the books that provide the story for me.

I scoured the shelves at home looking for Night Night Monkey while Augs recited the book, page by page from memory (“den monkey takes keys! den he let out gerrraffe!”). Slowly it dawned on me…the freaking book he was in love with at school was the one had given away to his class.

Augs then got to learn what it meant to same day deliver from Amazon Prime. Because when a kid loves a book, you buy it. Even if it’s the second time.

Goodnight Gorilla. Thank you for providing sweet, albeit ironic memories for us.

Mexican Mule

Peter fell in love with the cocktail called a Moscow Mule. To me, they just weren’t that amazing. I’m not a vodka drinker and something about the flavors just didn’t work for me.

BUT. I recently saw a version called a Mexican Mule made with tequila and a bit of simple syrup. I convinced PW to try it with me and verdict was that it was a hit. Light, refreshing and very delicious. It will be a regular come summer I’m sure.

1.5 Shot of Tequila

3/4 Shot fresh lime juice

1/4 Shot Simple Syrup (easy peasy to make – 2 parts sugar to 1 part hot water. Stir until dissolved)

Top with Ginger Beer. We tried two different brands and we liked Bundaberg

Now for serving it…we have one copper mug (for the Moscow version) so we used it and a regular glass. And as stupid as it sounds, the mug totally made a difference. It got colder and just tasted better! Any metal cup may work, but the copper is just so pretty. Amazon has them for good prices.

Serve with a lime wheel and enjoy!

Jump On the Bandwagon

Phew. It is rough to be a parent these days. It’s always been a tough job, but given the current climate of social media and an invisible force that urges you to define your parenting style  – helicopter mom, baby wearer, breast feeder, anti vaxer, free range parent – the list is endless and yet well defined.

And if I’m being honest, I think it’s amazing that so many moms are talking, sharing, posting. I constantly question my parenting method, look for new skills and sigh with relief when I read that I’m not alone. It’s all good.

Except when it’s not.

That’s right. I’m jumping on the bandwagon of posts about vaccinating your kids.

My bottom line is this: get educated. Ask questions. See more than one doctor. Read articles, posts, journals. Do whatever you have to do to reach the conclusion that vaccinating your healthy child is the right decision. And I emphasize healthy. Because those not healthy kids are the other reason we need to vaccinate our children. Herd immunity is meant to protect those that aren’t healthy enough for vaccinations, those that can’t be vaccinated for health reasons, and those too young. Choosing not to vaccinate your children out of a fear of the vaccination is not an excuse. Fear is not an excuse.

If you’re still conflicted, then think over this scenario in your head. I was sitting with Auggie in the emergency room a few months ago. He had a horrible case of croup and was in severe distress. His sweet little chest caved inward with each gasp for air because he was sucking in so hard. At some point my brain flipped into survival mode. Gone were the emotions and my only focus was to get this kid some help and fast. I realized after the storm had passed how awful it had been. How horrible it is to have the thought his oxygen levels are ok so if they have to, they could do a tracheotomy and then he could breathe.

It is not a fun when the thought of having a hole cut into your child’s throat is comforting.

The one thought that popped into my head over and over was how I could have prevented him getting so sick. And while the answer for his condition was “nothing”, that would not be the case for whooping cough. I cannot imagine the guilt of watching my beautiful little boy not be able to breathe because of my decision not to vaccinate him.

Which is why we do vaccinate our kids. When Baylor was a baby, I talked extensively about vaccinations, vaccination schedules and risk with our pediatrician. And the bottom line for me was when she said “I totally understand your concern. I do constant research about vaccinations and as a mom and a doctor, I fully vaccinate my child and that’s why I require this schedule for my healthy patients”.

That was all I needed to hear to make the decision to prevent the preventable. There’s enough unknown with our kids. Being able to check life threatening illnesses off that list? I’m in.

 

 

 

Little Whispers

I’m so grateful for little whispers from Heaven. The little messages from Mamie that let me know she’s still here. Still sees her Baylor. And that knows we talk about her, pray for her, think of her, and say her name every day.

From the moment Baylor was born, Mame would tell Baylor when you are a little bigger, you can walk down to my house and we’ll make biscuits with butter and grape jelly. We’ll put chocolate milk in tea cups and we’ll have a party. 

When I got Baylor’s snack schedule for January, I nearly fell over my own feet reading it. Today is Baylor’s snack day and her assigned snack was biscuits, butter, grape jelly and milk. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or both.

Thanks Mamers. We miss you and love you too.

No. More. Mickey.

Have you read this post from TheUglyVolvo.com? I was dying reading it because of how familiar her rage over the minutia of her son’s well loved book.

Reading, watching or reciting the same things over and over and over and over again (and again) really give us time to dissect every inch of the thing to point of making ourselves crazy. Suddenly we are hyper aware of the message, the nuances and the context.

Take for instance Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I don’t really want to admit how much of that stupid show my kids watch….so let’s just say if we collectively sat down together, we could probably recite Minnie’s Winter Bow Show from beginning to end. Hey, we were all sick with the flu. Cartoon binges are real people. Real necessary.

The issue is that the more I watched it, the more I noticed that Minnie Mouse is always looking to Mickey Mouse for help, approval, rescue and advice. ALWAYS. To the point that I wanted to shout at the TV you don’t need him Minnie!! What the f*ck does Mickey know about a small business? What business is he running these days that would give him such amazing insight into where and how you should display your bows?!?

And that’s when we switched over to Doc McStuffins. That’s a chick I can get behind. Poor Baylor. She’s going to have amazing things to talk about in therapy some day…

my mom would never just let me watch a cartoon! She was always saying “you know, you can do whatever you want in the world. You don’t need anyone’s approval or help, you’re perfectly capable all on your own. Minnie doesn’t need Mickey’s help – she may want it, but she doesn’t NEED it”. All I wanted to do was watch a cartoon without worrying about the message. But could she just let me enjoy? No! 

This post is probably a really good indication we need to be reading more books…

 

 

Avocado Pudding

Just trust me on this one…

I saw the incomparably Martha Stewart on the Today Show last week showing off recipes and dishes from her new clean eating cook book. The last recipe was for chocolate pudding made with avocados….yes you read that right. And judging by the reactions of the co hosts, it was pretty awesome.

I tried to make it this weekend in secret so that I could pass it off to the kids as real pudding. I knew as soon as they saw the green goodness of the avocado, they would run away in terror. But I swear they know the sound of the drawer where the Cuisinart is kept and as soon as they hear it, they come running to help push the buttons. I told Baylor that the only way she was allowed to help was if she agreed to eat the final product. She reluctantly said yes and we proceeded to mix and sample and mix and sample until we got just the right combination of ingredients. When she finally got to sit down with a bowl, her reaction was priceless; “this IS pretty good!”

And this guy? The proof is in the pudding, er, picture.

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The best part is that they get a guilt free dessert that is pretty close to a healthy food. Oh Martha, you’ve done it again!

Martha’s Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe can be found here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/1050437/chocolate-pudding

See Peter Run

A HUGE congratulations is due to Peter for finishing the 2015 Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon yesterday! He finished just over 2 hours (which he is supremely unhappy with, because he’s him) with minimal injuries; a large blister, sore muscles, etc.

The kids and I biked a few miles down the road to cheer him on as he ran by and then we went on to the finish line. It was a crush of humanity, but we miraculously we found him to congratulate him. And in true dad form, he immediately handed over his medal to the munchkins.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The race started out in the 50’s and the high was in the low 70’s. Perfection!

IMG_2836I drug him with me to yoga this morning to get him stretched out. He grumbled the entire way there but by the end, he was making plans to work in a class a week. I’m hoping he doesn’t find a yoga competition to sign up for next…!

Perfect Pesto

Peter and I got hungry for pesto pasta this weekend. I dug out this favorite recipe from Food Renegade (http://www.foodrenegade.com/almond-spinach-basil-pesto/). Its a delicious combination of basil, spinach and roasted almonds making a slightly healthier pesto.

I use Blue Diamond roasted almonds and skip the roasting part of the recipe. I also recruit little fingers to help pull the leaves off the stems of Basil. I double the recipe and throw a container in the refrigerator for later. Or you can get fancy like my mom and fill ice cube trays in the freezer so you can easily pop out a portion at a time for cooking.

But for me? I will eat this entire container of goodness well before it goes bad…

Finally getting to cute this beautiful stuff!

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Little fingers do the best job harvesting the leaves. Sometimes they are shirtless though…IMG_0999

I make ours a little thicker to cut some of the oil calories. I also like the way it keeps it’s flavor in pasta. And eggs. And on toast. And with chicken. And on a spoon.IMG_2830

Voila! Tossed with angel hair pasta and rotisserie chicken!

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Toilet Talk

A few years ago our  bathroom toilet was making sputtering sounds every time it flushed. It wasn’t horrible during the day, but at night, it was super annoying and woke up the entire house when it caused the pipes to bang with each sputter.

I was dreading a plumbing bill so my mom suggested I go to the plumbing supply store and ask them to show me how to fix it. I was so not in the mood to be talked down to or confused so I put it off…until no one could sleep. I buckled. I snapped pictures of the inside of the tank and ventured out to be belittled.

To my shock, the guy I talked to was incredibly nice! He diagnosed the problem quickly and then got me the parts to fix it. He even went as far to do some of the assembly of the fill valve in the store and then give me step by step instructions on how to install it. A half hour of time and I had successfully installed the new part for $20 vs a $200 plumbing bill. I’ve also fixed 3 other toilets at my house and some of the rental houses.

This week, I walked in from taking out the trash to a loud, strange noise. I began to scour the house for the source and found water blasting out of the toilet area and quickly flooding the joint. I quickly turned off the water and realized that the supply line nut had cracked (it’s worth noting that this is not the same thing I fixed prior). I took the tag off the line, shuttled the kids to the plumbing supply store for new lines for all the toilets in the house. $8, a wrench and towel later, problem solved.

As I relayed the story to my mom, I realized how nice it is to know how to fix your house. Not only is it annoying to have to pay someone to fix issues, waiting around for them to show up (which is ALWAYS during nap time) is the part I have the hardest time swallowing.

So the lesson for today is; go to a small specialty store and ask for help when you have a problem…. And also to replace your supply lines if the nut is plastic. You’ll thank me when your house doesn’t flood.