Sick Day

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Mom’s should get sick days. Or more importantly, they should get a pass on being sick. That goes double for pregnant moms. The business of the last two weeks has worn me down and I felt the tell tale sore throat of a sinus infection coming on on Thursday last week. As usual, I tried to ignore it, beat it and sleep it off. None of it worked so of course so now I feel like my head is going to explode and I sound like a smoker with a 3 pack a day habit. I also found out after driving to camp that this week is only for the all day every day kids – no half dayers allowed this week. Might be something that they would have reminded me of last week. So now on top of feeling like crap and having a mountain of work to get done, I have sweet Ms.B home allllll week. Which under normal circumstances would be great, but when it’s 110, limited to indoor activities and you feel like crap is not so fun. For anyone.

Ok, I’m (mostly) done whining. Please send get-well-soon vibes my way.

Veni Vidi Vici

Phew. I’m exhausted.

I don’t write about it often because The Goon Room is my happy, work free space, but once in a while work creeps in. For those that don’t know, my mom and I own and run a small water company in southern Arizona. Why? Well, that’s a really  long story so let’s just leave it at we have this investment and we are working our tails off to get it on the track to functioning in the black and within all of the governing agency’s guidelines.
That said, we started out on a journey to get a rate increase last year. It took a year of data and document collection to get to the point of filling out the 50 page application – which turned out to be over 200 pages once we added all of our supporting documents. Many months, many hours of auditing by the corporation commission, many inspections, many meetings, many nasty letters from customers, many problems and roadblocks, many tears and many “if we don’t laugh we’re going to cry” moments later, we got it. After waiting nearly 6 hours to be heard in an open meeting before the commission, the final vote was 4 yeses and 1 no – a win for us.
I was sick with nerves all day waiting for our turn to be heard – so when the decision was made, the relief of the moment felt more like a hang over and less like victory. Today, it’s sinking in that we did it. We have taken a failing company and in just over 2 years have brought back into the black (even if it’s just barely in the black, it’s black by God). We’re not done yet, we still need a loan and then start a massive construction project which are daunting all on their own. But damn it if we’re not one big step closer to the finish line. And yet another reason to celebrate with a large bottle of wine in October. Until then, Ben and Jerry’s will have to do!

Millions of Peaches

Peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for free.

Look out!

Anyone? Anyone? Presidents of the United States of America – or the theme song of eighth grade.

I have been craving peaches this entire pregnancy. Canned don’t cut it. Frozen either. And the little ones from the grocery are either too hard, too soft, no flavor or too far gone. But finally, finally! Costco had the big box of big peaches last weekend. There are a dozen softball sized fruit and after one day sitting in the fruit tower in the kitchen, they are perfect! I’ve eaten all but 2…back to Costco I go!

I’ve been eating them as is, but I have big plans for the next box. Peach and blueberry cake. Sugared peaches. Grilled peaches with amaretto cookies, peach pancakes…my mouth is watering just typing this!

Mom’s Night Out

It’s that time again! Scottsdale Moms Blog is hosting Mom’s Night Out on July 31st at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort!

The location and date promise to be the perfect combination for a great night of relaxing, catching up with friends, meeting new ones, winning some prizes and enjoying a glass of wine.

Tickets are going fast so round up your friends and get yours asap! Click here for the details…

Lelowstone National Park

As Baylor would say – or Yellowstone to you and me.

Peter is always dying to take a day trip into the park. I am always looking for ways to talk him out of it. We do a lot of driving while in Montana and strapping the kiddo in the car for another long trip seems a little cruel – for her and I as I always am the one trying to entertain, soothe and distract her while in the car. Not to mention I hate car trips – I think they are boring, I get car sick and I never get to drive. Whiney? Maybe. But you drive to San Diego and back in the back seat with a kiddo who is so very over being in the car and let me know how you like it.

Despite all that, I didn’t have a lot to try to talk PW into this year. I can’t ride horses (and neither could he – if he gets to drink and I don’t, then he doesn’t get to ride….) this year and there’s only so much hiking we can do so I gave in and told him to plan the trip. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The park was packed, but we were able to get around fairly easily and hit a few of the sites; Norris Geyser, lunch in the woods, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and some wildlife. B had a moment of get-me-out-of-this-car, but once she got to see some elk up close and personal, the rest of the ride was smooth.

Norris Geyser Basin. It looks like the surface of the moon…

It doesn’t look dangerous, but the temperature of the water is boiling

The color of the water was amazing.

Boiling mud

Steam vent

After Norris, we headed to a campsite to have a picnic. As we wrapped up, B got her first look at a permenate porta potty – basically a hole in the ground with a toilet seat. She screamed and refused to use it. Plan b involved finding a smooth log and let her go as nature intended. She decided that peeing in the wilderness was awesome.

Next up was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. I had no idea what to expect and I was totally blown away when I looked over the the little wall to the canyon below.

The color of the water was spectacular

There are like a thousand stairs that take you to the bottom of the falls. I am putting this on the list for next year!

Some bison

Daddy and his girl. And his favorite Beet Seed hat.

The girls

Livingston Round Up

This year was Baylor’s first trip to the Livingston Round Up Rodeo. We go every year and it’s a blast – the childless version can be seen here….But being pregnant and with Ms. B means we had the slightly less rowdy version this year. However fun none the less! B made it all the way to the spectacular fireworks display complete with patriotic music (the sun doesn’t set until after 9pm so the fireworks started around 10pm). Such a trooper!

Getting to sit with the big girls

The Noni

PW in his rodeo finest

Titi, cousin Zoe’s mom

I had a chance to experiment with my camera and the speed setting a little. The results were pretty darn good!

This is my favorite.

Steer wrestling…this guy is a Wranglers model so I felt a picture was necessary.

And this is the funniest part of the whole evening – this is the rodeo clown with 4 dummies strapped to himself  that move like puppets -they all do the YMCA. It was hilarious and just a pinch disturbing.

I Love a Parade

No really, I do.  I love the silliness, creativity and pageantry. And in a small town parade, it’s taken to a whole new level – not necessarily a better level than say the Rose Bowl Parade, but a new level just the same.

Poor B had maybe 6 hours of sleep the night before the Livingston 4th of July Parade. She got over an hour of a nap in her bed and then napped the 45 minute drive to the event – I had to wake her up when we got there…which explains why her pigtails are crooked and she looks less than pleased in the first few pictures.

Getting into the spirit

Cousin Zoe!

Cousin Madi. One half of the “big girls” B was chasing around all week

Learning how to pick up candy from the big kids

Noni, Momma and her girl

See? This is why small town parades are the best. Where else are you going to see a plumbing company advertising by putting a toilet on top of a trailer AND making it shoot water like a fountain?!

Buyer Beware

Last Sunday we headed out for our annual trip to Montana. We go to the (step) family’s ranch, Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge to ride horses, fly fish, hike, row a boat, eat, drink, watch B run around with her cousins and spend lots of time with my mom. It’s not a relaxing read a book on the beach vacation, it’s an action packed, fun filled whirlwind of a trip. And it is awesome.

For the second time, we flew out of William’s Gateway Airport on Allegiant Air. It’s a relatively new airline at an airport that has only recently become commercial. It’s much further than the main Phoenix airport, but we can fly direct to Bozeman and it’s a much better price than the major airlines. On this trip, we learned that discount airlines means more than limited flight times, paying for bags and seat choices, but it also means that when there’s a problem, you’re shit of luck.

Here’s a timeline of the events of last Sunday:

3:30pm – we get three bags checked, three carry ons, a car seat and a three year old through security with only one bathroom break and one change of clothes. Yes, 5 minutes into the trip, B has a minor accident. I should have recognized it as an omen.

4:00pm – flight to Colorado Springs is moved to our gate. Plane is loaded and takes off.

4:30pm – our scheduled departure time. However we are not on a plane because there is no plane.

4:45pm – a person who looks like they work for the airline cruises through the terminal. 25 passengers tackle him and ask why the board is still reading “on time”.

4:50pm – announcement is made that the flight is delayed until 8:30pm. Airline / airport employee promptly disappears.

8:20pm – no plane.

8:30pm – no plane and no personal.

8:45pm – I march to the other terminal, nab a counter agent and demand answers at our gate. Snivley little weasel waltzes to our gate where he informs everyone that he doesn’t know what’s going on. Why? Because he doesn’t work for Allegiant. In fact, no one works for Allegiant  in the airport. Allegiant employees work on the plans only, not in the airport. If we want answers, we have to go on line or call the customer service number.

8:50pm – security is called due to the amount of irate travelers.

9:00pm – announcement is made that the flight is now delayed until 10pm. Oh, and there was no plane coming at 8:30. They just told us that (seriously. That’s what they said).

9:15pm – another mom hosts a dance party for all the kids at the gate. I start crying at the thought that we might miss our vacation.

10:00pm – no plane.

10:15pm – delay moved to 10:30pm.

10:20pm – announcement that a flight has arrived and they are giving us the plane. 100 people rush to pack up and run to the neighboring terminal where we stand and wait.

10:45pm – plane is finally boarded and we are headed out.

2:00am – we arrive in Bozeman and the lovely, lovely people at Hertz rent a car are there waiting with our car.

*4:00am* – our tires hit the familiar dirt of Tom Miner Creek Road.

Lessons learned:

– we have a really, really, amazing kiddo. She never once cried, melted down or acted out. She was sweet, cooperative and a trooper. She smiled until she fell asleep on the plane, the car and finally in her pack n’play.

– check the incoming flight arrival time. If the plane you are supposed to take is late, you are going to be late too.

– over packing is essential when traveling with a munchkin. I wouldn’t let her play with her Minnie Mouse backpack leading up to the trip because I was loading it with new goodies. Little figurines, markers, coloring books, magnet boards, fun headphones, Goldfish, fruit snacks, suckers…a thousand things that might entertain her and every one of them came in handy!

– humanity is not all bad. I was shocked at how nice the other passengers were, especially to two wheelchair bound older ladies. I thought they were traveling with a group, but it turns out the people helping them were just kind strangers who offered to buy them dinner, a soda, walk to the bathroom or stretch their legs. Parents shared toys, snacks and entertainment with other kiddos. The same mom that hosted the dance party also set up their Ipad with a movie for all who wanted to watch. When the gate attendant announced that priority boarders would go first and then passengers with medical needs and parents, the crowd of exhausted passengers unanimously yelled back to take the two older ladies and the parents first.

– The entire time we waited I was drafting a scathing post in my head. I am decidedly NOT thrilled with how the situation was handled by Allegiant . But I can say that at least they did fly (they only fly twice a week to each destination – if we missed our Sunday flight, the next one wouldn’t have been until Thursday) even though it was horribly late.

– Allegiant has a lot of work to do to handle their customer service better (two phone calls later and there is no compensation offered. No discount, no free ticket, no nothing) including having gate agents who know what the hell is going on. So if you are going to be flying with them, check the flight info, have the customer service number in your phone and bring lots of entertainment!

Despite our freakishly late arrival, we had a great trip! And I have the nearly 200 pictures to prove it.

Summer Corn Chowder

I found a recipe for corn chowder and it was amazing – I added in a few things that the recipe didn’t call for that I think made it extra delicious! It’s the perfect excuse to hit the farmers market or road side stand and load up on fresh corn. It makes for a light dinner or a great starter or side dish.

This recipe could totally be vegan/vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, butter (use olive oil) and cream.

Ingredients:

6 large ears of sweet corn – shucked and silks removed

2 slices of thick cut bacon

3 tablespoons of butter

1 large diced onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup diced celery

1 medium red potato cut into half inch cubes

1 tsp marjoram

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of paprika

Sour cream for garnish

 

Directions:

– Cut the kernels of corn off the cob. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs for the corn “milk”. Set both aside.

– In a heavy pot, boil corn cobs with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve the liquid.

– Dice bacon and throw into a large pot. Saute until crispy. Add butter, onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Reduce the heat, add celery and sprinkle with salt. Once veggies are soft, add the potato, marjoram, cayenne and paprika. Add corn stock. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat for 20-30 minutes. Add almost all of the corn (reserve about a cup) and simmer for 10 more minutes.

– I used a food processor for this next part, but a blender would work too – just be sure to cover it so you don’t get hot liquid all over the place! Pour the cooked mixture into the blender / processor and blend until smooth. Add blended puree back to the pot and add the remaining unpureed corn and milk to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and heat the additional corn through (about 5 minutes). Serve with a dollop of sour cream!