Friday, February 29, 2008

Week In Review

I may have been fooling some of you this week but I haven't been fooling myself with all these small, lazy posts. I realize that posting a video that was shot last week probably doesn't count as a thoughtful or meaningful writing piece. But we've been busy! And even if our day consisted of just one outing, well that one outing tends to be a lot of work and subsequently throws my whole routine off. Here's what we've been up to:

Monday: We all got haircuts at my friend Jami's house. She is a hairstylist and graciously gives us a much-discounted rate to cut our hair and help me out with my color. Unfortunately she lives on almost the exact opposite side of the metro from us so it's quite a journey.

Tuesday: We had our ECFE class as we normally do. Afterward I swung by my sister-in-law's house so that William could run around the house and play with his cousins. Even though his cousins are only a few months difference in age on both ends, his favorite playmate is their dog Kali.

Wednesday: We headed into our clinic for William's 15-month check up. His weight (23 lbs, 10 oz) and height (31 and some odd inches) are right on track. But I was surprised to find out that he was harboring a double ear infection! He gave me absolutely no indication of this. Unfortunately this led to a very unpleasant trip to Target Pharmacy to pick up his antibiotic prescription. William was tired and hungry and the pharmacy took their sweet time getting the medication to me. One and a half hours to be exact. Now, I will be the first to tell you that Target is one of my favorite places on Earth but how much can you really enjoy it with a cranky one-year-old, you know?

Thursday: As I do at least once every couple of months I headed to downtown Minneapolis to have lunch with my former coworkers. Brian's office is just a couple of blocks from where we met so he gladly took William for about an hour and paraded him around his office. I was also able to swing by Macy's and pick up some cosmetics and William's SUPER-cute Easter outfit.

Friday: Well today we have no outings planned which is why I'm able to write this! I'm looking forward to a quiet afternoon and evening at home.

Thursday Night Recap: February 28

Eats: Homemade Chicken & Wild Rice Soup in the slow cooker.

Dessert: One Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwich

Drink: One Summit Extra Pale Ale for me, and Brian had some beer that I don't know the name of.

Entertainment: We watched the elimination round of American Idol followed by this week's episode of Lipstick Jungle. Can you believe that Brian sat with me through the entire episode? And yes, I did give him the choice to watch something else.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


This video was taken in the vanity mirror in the car on the way home from a shopping trip on Grand Avenue.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good Morning

Breakfast has been eaten.
The dishes are done.
The counters, wiped.
The floor, vacuumed.
The bed is made.
The upstairs has been dusted.
The sun is shining.
William is dressed and napping.
I am showered and ready.

And now I've got just enough time for a cup of coffee and this post before I need to head out for the day. It's a simple perfect morning, but I think most moms will tell you it's a perfectly perfect morning.

Monday, February 25, 2008

If Only There Was a Day for This

Me: I'm really upset that tomorrow is Monday.

Brian: Why's that?

Me: Because with William's diarrhea it's been nice to have two people on hand this weekend to help change a diaper and get the clothes in the wash.

Brian: Yeah, I don't know what to tell you.

Me: C'mon, can't you take him to work with you tomorrow?

Brian: Let me think. Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot. Tomorrow is Bring-Your-Diarrhea-Ridden-Child-to-Work Day. So yeah, that'll work.

Trying to Leave the Baby Talk at Home

This weekend I was able to get out by myself for a little shopping trip. Apparently it was a shock to my vocabulary skills to be without a baby because when the saleslady at Ann Taylor Loft asked if she could start a fitting room for me and I accidentally dropped a pair of pants as I was handing my clothes to her, I said, "Oopie!"

Really, Jenny? I mean is it so hard to just say, "Oops"?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: February 21

The writers' strike is over but it's still going to be awhile until new shows hit the airwaves so I'll keep up with my Thursday night ritual until then. Enjoy!

Eats: Vegetarian Fried Rice
I think the website makes you create a membership in order to view the nutrition facts so let me just indulge you here. Just one serving has 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and only 274 calories. And it doesn't sacrifice on taste either!

Dessert: A homemade brownie with chocolate, caramel and walnuts heated up in the microwave and served with a scoop of lite chocolate ice cream. Lite, because you know, I wouldn't want to go overboard or anything. I apologize to any of my readers who may given up chocolate or sweets for Lent. I'm like the devil!

Drink: One amaretto and sour for me. One whisky Manhattan and two beers for my hubby. Poor Brian, I think it was a long week. It probably didn't help that I splattered his latest television appearance to anyone I've ever known in the last ten years.

Entertainment: Two night's worth of American Idol thanks to our friend TiVo. We didn't watch Wednesday's episode live because Netflix sent us Gone Baby Gone and we couldn't wait. It was definitely worth it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Lenten Journey with a Toddler

I love Lent. I really do. I love the quiet, reverent atmosphere of mass. I love the season's encouragement to repent and begin anew. I love the somberness yet fulfilling nature of Holy Week.

Everyone approaches Lent in their own way. In years past I would offer up an extra day of daily mass into my schedule. This usually was pretty easy since there was a church two blocks down from my office. Last year I had a newborn, which provided a bit more difficulty in having an open and flexible schedule, but I still managed to bring him with me to Adoration, usually while he was fast asleep in his car seat carrier.

But nothing in years past has been quite as challenging as having both a worshipful Lent season and a one-year-old. On Friday Brian and I had planned to meet at Stations of the Cross and then stay for the soup supper. Brian called me just before I left to let me know he was still at the office and that he didn't think he would make it on time. So I had to fly solo.

As I followed the procession around the perimeter of our church to each Station I quickly realized that I wouldn't be getting a lot out of this. Well, at least not in the traditional sense that I'm used to. William by no means was being naughty. He was just being one. He wanted to walk -- wait, scratch that -- he wanted to run to each Station. He wanted to talk and sometimes yell. He wanted to smile and giggle at the lady next to me. He wanted to play with the two little boys in front of me.

When it was over and I was struggling to get both our coats on and get out of church as fast as I could I thought to myself, with just the teensiest bit of anger at Brian for not being there, "Well that was a waste!"

But once I was in the car, where William was strapped into his car seat being just as quiet as could be (go figure), I thought, well at least I made the effort. And I think during Lent, especially with a toddler, that's all God really asks of us. It's so hard to get the peace and tranquility I love when I walk into church lately, but right now, at this stage in my life as a young mother, that's my cross to bear. Even though I was thinking my effort was a waste it would be hard to imagine God looking down on me shouting, "Get out! William is too wild and you can't pay attention anyway!"

So how do I teach my children the awe of mass and the reverence of the Lenten season while still allowing myself to grow as a Catholic? The answer for our family, while our child is still too young to comprehend, is to make the effort. Even when I know there is a great chance he will be disruptive and possibly even tired or hungry we still need to get up every Sunday and go to mass. I still need to try my best to get to Stations of the Cross, Adoration, Penance or whatever it might be because that's what our family is all about. And though right now it might seem like we're just going through the motions I still have the hope that one day all this effort will instill in our children what it means to be Catholic. And hopefully they too will come to love this Lenten season.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: February 14 (Valentine's Day Edition)

Eats: Lasagna (my own recipe)

Dessert: Heart-shaped cookies and a small dish of lite chocolate ice cream

Drink: A couple glasses of Francis Coppola Cab

Entertainment: 3:10 to Yuma

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Trying Not to Cry Over Spilled Milk

Things that have not gone my way today...

  • I answered the phone when I knew I shouldn't have and which made me 10 minutes late for ECFE class.
  • At the grocery store the deli lady accidentally handed me Swiss cheese when I asked for cheddar. (I didn't realize this until I got home. And I hate Swiss.)
  • Upon unloading the groceries from the car a whole gallon of milk slipped out of my hand and exploded all over the kitchen floor. While William was screaming for his lunch. While the phone was ringing.
  • When putting away grocery items in the refrigerator I noticed that a bag full of pureed carrots had leaked into every possible nook and crack.

    On the brighter side...

  • William woke up too early this morning so I put him back down to bed at 8:00 and he slept until 10:00. And so did I!
  • I was able to save most of the milk in the broken carton by pouring it into a pitcher.
  • The temperature is above zero today with almost no wind!
  • I'm alive.
  • Monday, February 11, 2008

    The Giggle Factory

    This past Saturday Brian and I took William to The Giggle Factory, or The Germ Factory as I like to call it. It wasn't as neat-o as Brian and I thought it was going to be but it was still a good way to kill some time on a frigid Saturday afternoon. Plus, it provided for some great pictures. Oh, and of course a few giggles too.

    I try my best to be wholesome on this blog especially during this Lenten season so forgive me for this next piece. The story we keep "giggling" about is when Brian totally took out a little 3- or 4-year-old boy with a giant ball after he was trying to knock over William who is still wobbly on his new walking legs. I'm sure the little boy was just trying to play with a new friend but Brian didn't see it that way and because boys never seem to outgrown their aggressive nature he pitched a giant ball at the little boy pushing him into the corner and out of William's path. The little boy just yelled, "Hey!" in the playful way that little boys do so no worries; he was OK. I hate to admit that it was really funny and we're still recounting it today.



    See the kid behind Brian? That's the giant ball boy!

    "Hi, Dad!"

    William clearly doesn't care that just a minute ago I was calling it The Germ Factory.

    "I can't hear you mom!"

    Still can't get over those baby blues.

    Saturday, February 9, 2008

    Thursday Night Recap: February 8

    Eats: Porketta (seasoned pork roast) with green beans and rice

    Dessert: Small dish of chocolate and vanilla mix ice cream

    Drink: One glass of pinot noir

    Entertainment: Mr. & Mrs. Smith
    (I know, I know. We had to dig really deep for entertainment this time.)

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    Oh How the Tables Have Turned

    If William were to write the post that I wrote last week for this week, I suspect it might sound something like this.

    This week has been a tough week for me and my mama. The weather is finally above 20 degrees but my mama has yet to take me outside to play in the snow. Remember that bad cough and cold I had last week? Well I shared that with my mama.

    She brought me to ECFE on Tuesday anyway because she figured it would make the day go by faster. When we got home we both took a long afternoon nap until daddy came home. Thankfully daddy came home a bit early that day. He made me dinner, gave me a bath and played with me a lot.

    Yesterday I was a really good boy in the morning and then I took a REALLY long nap for my mama in the afternoon. But when I woke up I did not want to go to church for Ash Wednesday like my mama and daddy told me I had to. I just wanted to practice walking since I'm getting really good at it. So after communion my mama took me in the back of the church so that I could stretch my legs. I think she felt better back there too because she had to blow her nose every two minutes.

    But this morning I am being a really good boy and I think my mom is feeling better so I bet we will get to play together a lot more today!

    Monday, February 4, 2008

    Like Linus and Lucy

    On Saturday Brian surprised me with an unexpected date night. He even lined up a sitter unbeknownst to me. We headed to downtown St. Paul (our preferred downtown spot even over Minneapolis) and started the evening with a drink at the splendidly classic Kincaid's. It was the last weekend of the St. Paul Winter Carnival so there were quite a few people there but we found a cozy spot at the bar and were delighted to find out it was happy hour.

    After our drink we went over to the Wells Fargo Ice Skating Rink to test out our lutz and triple sow cow. It's been a while since I've been on figure skates but I soon found out it's just like riding a bike; it all comes back eventually. Brian, a bit more inexperienced on skates, did just fine. It was a lot of fun. Props to Brian for a fun and original date idea. We finished out the evening with a few slices and beers at Pizza Luce. Here are a few action shots from the date.

    Friday, February 1, 2008

    Thursday Night Recap: January 31

    Eats: Hoppin' John Chowder

    Dessert: None

    Drink: One glass of Meridian Pinot Noir 2005

    Entertainment: Filing our tax return. Warning, this is only considered entertainment if you are entitled to a refund, which we were. Yay!

    Hoppin' John Chowder

    4 cans black-eyed peas, undrained
    2 cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
    1 can beef broth
    1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
    1 cup water
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

    1. Combine all ingredients except rice in a 6-quart slow cooker.
    2. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.
    3. Cook rice according to package instructions.
    4. Stir rice into chowder.

    Recipe courtesty of Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook.
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