Our first Washington snow!
I made it! I think last year I fell asleep one night in front of the TV and missed the midnight deadline, but not this year. Maybe I'll win a prize! I know which one I've been pining for.
Sadly, I wasn't able to keep up with all three blogs every day this month. I got behind at both the Naked Ledger and the Mom Street Journal. Thanksgiving screwed me up and once you get off track, you stop posting every day. It happens to everyone.
Today I did write a lengthier post about gratitude at Family.com that you should read:
Depending on when Dave gets home tonight, we might run out and get our Christmas tree. It's supposed to SNOW tomorrow. I'm so excited I feel like a leetle gerl! So far we still aren't minding the weather here at all. It's cold. You put on your coat and get over it.
My mom was nice enough to gift me a copy of Deceptively Delicious for Christmas this year. It came early with my grandparents when they came for dinner last weekend and I've now tried two of the recipes in the book. And I hate to say this because I was really looking forward to the life changing chasm that would occur in my kitchen after I possessed these recipes, but they kinda suck. It's one of the many things that sounds great in theory, but doesn't work all that well in practice.
Neither of my kids would eat the chicken nuggets dipped in broccoli-puree batter. Alex picked all the crust off of them, took two bites, which were green and funky-looking and decided that was more than enough. He went to bed with a stomach full of peas, which he actually does eat without complaining. Genoa just threw hers on the floor (where the dog sniffed them and then trotted away without touching them.)
Tonight I made the mac 'n cheese with butternut squash and it was gross. One of my main culinary talents is a kickass cream sauce and that recipe just KILLED it. Cream cheese?! I might try it again using my own recipe and then just try adding in some squash, but I kinda doubt it. If there's a half cup of squash or cauliflower in the entire recipe, I'm a little unconvinced that there's really much of a health benefit after you spread that out amongst all the kid-sized servings. Especially when I could only get Alex to eat about three bites of it. (And this is a boy who can eat most of a box of traditional mac 'n cheese himself.)
Then there's the whole hiding aspect of it, which hasn't worked out well at all. Alex wants to help me in the kitchen, especially when I'm making dinner FOR HIM. I actually had to tell him an outright lie when I made the mac 'n cheese. I knew he wouldn't even touch it if I answered him truthfully that yes, that stinky orange stuff was in it. The fact is that hiding vegetables in food really doesn't teach your children to expand their culinary horizons. In fact, it's basically the same thing as giving my kids gummy bear vitamins, only a LOT more difficult. (Genoa begs for them - "CANDY!!!")
Of course, Genoa won't eat vegetables AT ALL, so I may continue to try more of these recipes to get more good stuff into her. Thank goodness for SnapPea Crisps or that child might never poop again.
Alex has a really big day at school tomorrow. It's Friday, so that means it's both student store day and sharing day. But tomorrow is also the last day of the month so it's free dress day and the day of the big Geography Challenge we've been working so hard on. Alex knows at least nine of the ten North American countries we've been helping him learn. Damn Jamaica! He can't seem to get that one to stick in his head. I'm hoping he'll just remember Belize instead.
Five things about me:
1. Like Stephanie, I ALWAYS wear rubber gloves to do the dishes. I also wear them to wash/cut/handle meat and also vegetables. Peeling potatoes without gloves on would KILL me. I wouldn't be able to wash my hands again for a week. If I'm not careful, my knuckles will crack and bleed.
2. I love to pick my kids' noses.
3. I can't sleep at night without one of those giant body pillows between my knees. Dave calls mine "Paco."
4. I bought a file cabinet two weeks ago and it's still sitting empty. I HATE filing.
5. I absolutely cannot under ANY circumstances go barefoot. In the winter it's fuzzy slippers or shoes and in the summer it's flip-flops. Apparently I have wussy-girlie hands and feet.
About a month ago, Dave and I were sitting on our then-brand-new couch in the living room when we had the simultaneous realization that this house was practically built for parties. And then, for the first time ever in our almost twelve-year relationship, Dave agreed to let me throw a party the first time I asked him. Up until now, we've had parties, sure, but only after I begged and pleaded and offered up sexual favors like candy.
The strange thing is that I always attributed Dave's lack of interest in entertaining to a personality flaw. I assumed he just wasn't that social, that having people over was just not something he enjoyed. Apparently, I was totally wrong; he just didn't like having people over to our crappy little apartment. It embarrassed him.
But now? He's not even remotely embarrassed and the idea of hosting our family and new friends over for a Christmas party is something he's actually looking forward to almost as much as I am. Of course, I may need to remind him of that when he's in the process of hanging all those Christmas lights. We haven't even bought the lights yet and I can already hear him swearing about them.
Anyway, these past few days I've been busy trying to get the house ready. I LOVE Christmas and I want to make our first one here in Washington as memorable as possible. The snow-globe incident* aside, this is probably the first Christmas that Alex will REALLY remember, so I want him to remember it fondly.
* PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Be ye less stupid than we! Don't use those stocking holders that sit on your mantle if you have small kids underfoot! Two years ago, Alex yanked his empty stocking off the mantle and the snow-globe it was attached to crashed less than an inch from his eye. Now that I think about it, unless the stocking-holder is basically nailed down, it can easily knock your child unconscious with the slightest tug. Gah we were stupid! Talk about terrible products!
Did anyone else watch that Battlestar Gallactica: Razor movie over the weekend? What was with the Quiznos commercials? They were literally, like, "HOT LESBIAN ACTION! Brought to you by QUIZNOS!" Dave and I kept rewinding it to make sure we'd heard it correctly. We did, didn't we?
We had a fun and busy weekend. I had the great pleasure of hosting my grandparents and my aunt and uncle for our first fancy meal in the dining room last night. I made a lasagna and feeding it to my family just gratified me. It's weird, but I finally feel like a grown-up. Not that I haven't felt that way before, but feeding my grandparents instead of them feeding me was nice.
I can't tell you how much fun I had setting the table too. Our wedding china has been in storage for over seven years. I was so happy to find out I still like it. I spent a good long time before everyone arrived taking the individual labels off of each and every piece. I actually enjoyed washing it by hand. Who knew I was such a Susie Homemaker?
I tried to do that Thanksgiving thing with the note cards again this year, but it was just the four of us and I didn't get a good picture of Dave, who was grateful for "our new life in Washington". Mine was simple, I'm grateful to finally be home.
Last night while I was making lasagna, the baby kept pestering me, following me around the kitchen shouting something that sounded like, "GO!" over and over again while pointing to her bare knees. I tried figuring it out, "You want to GO somewhere?" I asked and she shook her head. Eventually, she ramped it up from a shout to a scream and it finally clicked in my slow-mommy brain.
She was asking me to put some damn pants on her. Poor girl.
Her vocabulary is at that stage where it grows exponentially. When brother gets in trouble and I start to count, she holds up her finger and says, "ONE! ONE!" She hasn't gotten to two yet, but it's coming soon.
She'll say sorry (sah-she) when prompted, which is about 100 times a day because this child is fierce. She's bossy and opinionated and if you don't do exactly what she wants when she wants it, you're likely to get clocked or have your hair yanked or your glasses pulled clean off your face. For an 18-month-old, she spends and awful lot of time on the naughty spot.
Her favorite book is Mr Brown Can Moo Can You? and she can pretty accurately reproduce all the sounds; my favorite one to hear is "dibble dopp" for the rain. When she spills water on herself, she exclaims, "WET!" which is also what she says when it's raining out. If you show her a picture of a phone, she'll tilt her head and say, "Hello?"
"MINE!" is still a standout favorite word. As is "MILK" with extra emphasis on the "k" sound. When she gets grumpy and yells at me to nurse her, I always tell her to ask me nicely, so she quiets down, tilts her head back and closes her eyes while asking in a softer voice. It always works.
Genoa is 18 months old today! I'm sure I have a lot more to say about that, particularly about how much fun it is that she totally TALKS now, but it's super late and I have a big day tomorrow. My grandparents are coming for dinner and they've not seen the house before, so I'm trying to get it as clean as humanly possible. Not that they'll care or even notice, but it will make me feel good to have it look nice. I just finished making a huge lasagna too so it's time to put my feet up.
PS - I'm eating the last slice of that pie right this minute. Dave said it was the best apple pie he could remember eating. The magic crust ingredient was sharp cheddar cheese!
We're having a most excellent day of thanks. I'm having a ton of fun in my new kitchen. I love it so! I'm trying to take as many pictures as possible of all our tasty vittles. For some reason, my recipes seem to like the new kitchen too.
(if I give you this recipe and you make it and don't like it, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. It's one of the few things I can't eat without moaning in delight.)
Fresh green bean casserole (no cans except for TJ's french-fried onions)
Trader Joe's stuffing (half in the bird, half in a baking dish)
Yukon Gold mashed potatoes
Fresh mushroom gravy (with home-made chicken broth)
Nobody else likes them, so the only cranberries I'll be enjoying will be the ones in my cosmopolitan(s).
and for dessert:
Fluid Pudding Caramel Pie
I'm posting my photos as often as I can on Flickr. Hope you're having a great holiday!