Car Bomb

When we were kids, we had good family friends that we went to California with every summer. Their four kids to our two plus their parents and my mom made for one packed suburban. After a week of driving to and from the beach to the rental house, our friend’s dad would declare that the SUV smelled like “there were too many butts dragging across the seats”. This became a signature scent in our family and anytime something smelled wrong, it was always reminiscent of too many butts.

Last night I confessed, while laughing hysterically, that I had dropped an entire cheese stick between my seat and the console of my car. I had been trying to open it for the kiddo and it slipped right out of the plastic. Now, for anyone who knows me, any friends or roommates, they will testify that I am neat. Annoyingly neat. ridiculously clean. My worst fear is that someone-will-think-my-house-smells-funny kind of clean. So the fact that I’m knowingly driving around with a cheese stick under my seat is so appalling, it’s funny.

Peter, not believing me, trucked out to the garage with a fork in hand to retrieve said snack. When asked why I hadn’t done something about it, I said that I had A. forgotten about it having become accustomed to the smell that ridding around with a toddler who snacks in the car brings and B. I’m having my car detailed this weekend and I was going to have them get it out. disgusted, Peter forged on moving the driver seat forwards and backwards, continually stabbing at the missing dairy product. I, a little buzzed after a glass (or 2) of wine am giggling in the passenger seat. The role reversal of the situation was hilarious. It’s also a good 116 degrees in our garage so it may have been a heat induced state, I’m not sure.

Five minutes later, Peter grabbed the hardened stick off the fork, threw it away and declared me disgusting. All while scretly finding it hysterical because I know he’s accidentally dropped an entire spit cup in his truck. I’ll take a wayward cheese stick over that any day.

Good Karma

Remember this post about trying to track down the guy with the parking tickets? Well apparently my attempt at a good deed paid off – at least for Peter any way. Oh, and a side note, the guy from the original post has A. missed a court date for the previous parking ticket and B. gotten two more tickets this past month. I’m waiting for the police to come knocking at my door looking for Dean Wray. If you know him, please tell him to update his address with the city.

So! Back to the subject at hand. And that subject is karma and how my attempt at tracking down the bad parker turned out well for PW. We used to live in DC while Peter was in law school. We rented a house in Maryland and in the last few months we lived there, the landlords sold the house. (Yeah, that was awesome. Nothing like being forced to leave your home for open houses and it’s not even your house! But that’s another blog). The new owners didn’t take ownership until after we had packed up the car and moving truck and headed west. We got our deposit back and we said adios to our jerk landlords.

Flash forward almost 5 years to about a month ago. Peter ordered a vintage belt buckle (again, another blog) on Ebay. We rarely use Ebay these days and  unbeknownst to him, PW accidently shipped the buckle to our old address in Maryland.

Apparently the very sweet couple that bought the house remembered being told by the land lord that the tenants living in the house went to Georgetown Law and were moving back to Arizona. So Mrs. Sweet Lady looked up lawyers in the Phoenix area who went to G-Town and found PW’s profile. She sent him an email explaining that she had received a package and would he like her to ship it to him. Amazing, right? I think its nice to know that there are kind and thoughtful people out there who would go to the lengths that this lady did all because it was a nice thing to do. Karma is lovely that way.

The buckle arrived last night and Peter sent a nice thank you along with the cost of shipping – plus a coffee for her trouble. Gotta make sure Karma knows we appreciate the gesture.

Back To School…

Well, I guess technicall it’s just “to school” at our house. Ms.Baylor started her first day of preschool today!

A few weeks ago we found out that the cost of our favorite Little Gym class was going up – like way up. And because my little lady is such a social butterfly, we decided to look at a few half days of preschool. I started asking around, looking around and making calls to the few schools near our home that have an academic cirriculum for 2 year olds. We’re lucky that we had several choices and all have a Christian base. The unlucky part is that apparently every other two year olds mom knew that they were going to be ready for preschool months ago and had registered them and taken up all the available spots. We’re talking registration fees to get on a double digit wait list! I always thought the story line in movies where there is a year long wait list for preschool was a joke – apparently the only joke was on me.

Thankfully we did find a school that had openings and on top of that, they were amazing! I felt comfortable from the moment we walked in an Baylor was in love with the classroom and play ground. We met her teachers last week and when it was time to leave, she cried and screamed “STAY!!!”. Her teacher thought she was upset because Baylor thought I was leaving – I had to explain that Bay would love it if I would go so she could stay.

This morning after lots of pictures, Bay scrambled to her new class room and dove into the toys. I squatted down next to her and said that Daddy and I were going to leave she turned and said “hug! kiss! bye bye!”. She all but walked us to the door.

When I picked her up, the class was lying on their tummies singing a song about fish swimming. Bay looked up, waved and then continued on with the song. Her report card said she was “happy”, “ate all her snack” (big shock since it was mini pancakes!) and “had a great first day!”. B handed me her report card, said good bye and we headed out the door. No tears, no issues on either end. Can’t ask for more.

She told me in the car that she got to show her family pictures to her class mates, that they painted piggies and played on the swings. She also told me a girl named Emma got her ears pierced and that it hurt. She repeated her story to both sets of grandparents and to daddy too. I am currently listening to her tell Minnie Mouse the same story – it’s nap time so she and Minnie are having some pillow talk.

Her one disappointment of the day was that she didn’t need to take a backpack with her to school. This, however, did not stop me from getting her a ridiculously cute one that was waiting in the car for her….


Ready to take on preschool!

Asian Noodles

I modified a recipe I found last week and the result was fan-freaking-tastic! I love this dish, the flavors are so dynamic and it makes delicious leftovers. Serve it hot or eat it cold, either way it’s a winner.

I’m giving amounts here more as a guide line. Add more of what you like and less of what you don’t!

12 oz whole grain linguini noodles

2 medium carrots sliced into 2inch long sticks (like really skinny little sticks)

1 cup of sugar snap peas

4 scallions, chopped

3 table spoons lite soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil

After the carrots are sliced, steam them gently with the snow peas. Combine liquid ingredients and scallions. Cook noodles and while still hot, add them to the liquid. Set aside.

For the shrimp:

1/4 cup lite soy sauce

2 table spoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger (Safeway carries and orgainc minced ginger that is great and lasts for weeks!)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small squirt (like 1/2 a teaspoon) of Siracha hot sauce. Go easy, this stuff is deadly. Also red pepper flakes will work.

30 ish shrimp. I buy cooked and thawed shrimp an then warm them in the dressing. This could be done with raw shrimp too, I just don’t have the patience to de-vein. I also think it’s gross.

Combine liquid ingredients and bring to a simmer. Toss in shrimp and let cook until warmed through. Combine with noodle mixture and include the liquid from the shrimp bowl. Make a lot because you’re going to want this for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

*On a side note – I was not a huge fan of the carrots and snap peas. The crunchy texture was not for me so I think steaming them will be good. But I had a FLASH of inspiration – cucumbers! Not sure if it’s going to work, but I think a couple of long skinny cucumbers on top of the completed dish are going to be fantastic!

A Little Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to all the comments on Friday’s blog (which, oddly wasn’t named). It makes me feel validated in knowing I, like many of the readers, were and are in the same boat when it comes to being a parent. I will be sure to do more posts like this and in the mean time, check out the Tales from the Crib archive. There are some posts about the early days with Ms.B and I have to say, they are quite amusing. Some of my favorites include The Sleep Terrorist and A Watched Phone Never Boils. Enjoy and hang in there!

I have been talking and texting with a friend and former coworker over the past few weeks. She just had her first baby, a sweet little girl.

Our conversations brought me back to when Bay was born. I was a basket case. Between 24 hours of on and off labor, 8 hours of actual labor and an emergency c-section left me wanting for nothing but a glass of wine and a nap. A really really long nap. And yet there was little lady who needed me so completely. My hormones were bonkers. I was sleep deprived (which has never been a good look for me) and overwhelmed by the change and lack of predictability. fortunately I am married to the greatest husband and father ever and he not only talked me off the ledge, he helped me through the wide variety of emotions I was feeling and took a night shift.

All this made me think of why I want to write a book. I think there are so many books, blogs, etc out there full of moms who are glowing from the moment the cord is cut. Moms who are instantly in love with their babies, whose kids sleep “through the night” at a week old and those that breast feed with the greatest of ease. But what about the real side of being a new mom? Why is no one talking about being totally freaked out about the whole thing? About loving this little person, but loving the idea of sleeping for 14 hours juuusstt a little bit more? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my daughter, but I will be honest  saying that I had a break down when we came home from the hospital because I didn’t love her enough. I felt like I should have been feeling something that I wasn’t feeling.  And how I was afraid to tell people that I was only breast-feeding a little because I was afraid of the judgement and or tips” from the listener.

Six months after Baylor was born, on Christmas Eve, she slept for 12 hours straight. It is to this day, the best gift I’ve ever had. When I came out of the sleepless haze, I started talking to friends with kids and realized I wasn’t alone in my feelings. Again, I asked; “why isn’t anyone talking about this??”.

Maybe the answer is that even if warned, lectured, schooled, we can’t really know what it’s going to be like until we’re in it. But I still want to know why there aren’t at least warnings – at least beyond “yeah, you’re not going to sleep for awhile”. But maybe it’s the lie that we tell ourselves that makes us go through with it. Like why you even entertain the idea of having a second child – you lie to yourself. “The second will sleep amazing because they have to” or “We know what we’re doing now!!”.

Either way, I think society puts too much pressure on new moms (and on moms in general) to do it all and with clean and blown out hair too. I think it’s time we start standing up and saying “this part really sucks, literally and figuratively and it’s hard!” and cutting each other and ourselves some slack when we can’t do it all every day. I think if we can embrace the days where we don’t get a shower or brush our teeth before 3pm, it will make the days where we say “I did it!” feel so much better.

A few very funny and oh-so-true mom quotes:

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~ Milton Berle

Raising a kid is part joy and part guerilla warfare.~ Ed Asner

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease. – Lisa Alther

Iced Tea Parties

In our ongoing quest to stay cool and have some fun outside the house, Baylor and I have tea parties. She gets to take a bottle of water and pour it into her tea pot. Then she gets to pour the “tea” into the tea cups and serve Tome, Bear, Barbie, Mommy and herself. The best part is that she spills the majority of the “tea” all over herself thus keeping cool while having some fun. And she gets some water without me having to add juice to make it enticing. Win. Win. And one more win.

Sadly our host was drenched and therefore stripped down to a diaper by the time I grabbed the camera.

Tome likes Silly Glasses when he imbibes

Bay has to help Bear – without thumbs, tea cups are impossible to hold

Fine Family Fun

This past weekend was a “home project” weekend. I always have a list of things that need to be fixed, changed or cleaned. Some are big and some are small and this weekend we tackled them all. But that’s another post…

Saturday afternoon after a collective family nap (not all in the same room, but it was definitely the Napping House around here), we headed out to the Biltmore  for some shopping and dinner. We hit the Mac store to get a new charger (there is so a housekeeper from Sedona Rouge Resort making a killing selling “found” phone chargers) and an arm band for the Iphone for running. Then we went to True Food Kitchen for dinner. It’s one of our favorite places; very relaxed, good and healthy food and most importantly, kid friendly.

We have finally entered the phase where we can dine out with our munchkin and there is a high probability that it will be an enjoyable experience. One that is marked with both of us getting to finish our meal, Baylor actually eating something and no one has to take her for a walk at any point. Now, she’s still 2 so there are several seat changes, standing on said seat and lots of urging her to sit on the seat and eat her dinner. But the tantrums are few and far between and Peter and I are able to have a conversation that lasts longer than 30 seconds and the dinner lasts from appetizers to dessert. It has been a long time since we’ve had this kind of dinner out – and an even longer (if ever) time since Ms.B has graced us with her presence. It was a beautiful Saturday evening as a family topped off with some additional window shopping along the mister lined side walks – and Baylor and I showing Peter how we break it down in the car to our favorite song.

PS – if you ever see a white SUV with a lady driving doing some funky dance moves while either looking in the back seat or rear view mirror, just assume A. it’s me B. my kid thinks I’m hilarious and C. we’re having a great time.