Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You Betcha!

A little known fact about Minnesota is that during the seasonal transition months (usually April, May, and October) it is absolutely acceptable to be driving around town with your seat heaters turned on and your sun roof and/or windows wide open.

I found myself doing that very thing this morning on the way to ECFE. The morning temperature read 45 and I still had a chill throughout my body after crawling out of my cozy bed so my heated seats (or heater seaters as we sometimes like to call them) were a must. But after five days of rain and gloom I couldn't waste the abundant sunshine.

So there we were, William and I, tooling along with the sun roof open, sunglasses on and the seater heater toasting my bum.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Sequel

I've already shown you what our Friday night post baby looks like. Now, behold, our Saturday night...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: April 24

Eats: Mandarin Orange Salad

Just whisk together 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon dried parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper and pour it over your favorite bag of lettuce tossed with one large can of mandarin oranges, chopped celery and walnuts toasted with a bit of sugar. YUM!

Dessert: Homemade chocolate chip cookies. I just followed the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips but instead of one cup of butter I did 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of peanut butter.

Drink: A glass of red wine. It was a malbec Brian bought at a wine sale.

Entertainment: A new episode of The Office and a new episode of Grey's Anatomy. Yay! We're back to the old days.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just For the Fun of It

I usually don't post videos or pictures of strangers but this one was too funny to pass up. And if this doesn't make you laugh, nothing will! Gotta click here.

The Wonders of Family Time

Yesterday was one of those perfect summer days. And it's only April! I can't believe my luck getting two of those days in just one week.

William and I played outside with the neighbor kids and mom until we could no longer stand it. He had sand in every nook and cranny (including his mouth!) but I didn't even care.

Brian was running a bit late from work so I fired up our charcoal grill all by myself. Can you sense my pride? I've never done that before so I was feeling quite jolly about it.

We moved William's booster seat outside on the patio so that he could eat and toss food without the hassle of me having to clean the floor.

Brian and I followed suit and brought our plates and drinks out on the patio table. The chicken was DE LISH! (Can I get a shoutout for chicken on the grill? There's honestly nothing like it.)

After the food was polished off we sat and pointed out the birds, ducks and airplanes to William and tried to get him to repeat each word after we said it.

I'm not exactly sure when the shift occurred but William is now able to get us to laugh out loud. And I don't mean because "kids say and do the darnedest things." I mean that he's so grown up now that he picks up on social cues. Like the story I posted the other day with the motorcycle. He knew it wasn't in the plan for the motorcycle to fall onto its side and he knew that it was an appropriate time to say, "Uh oh!"

And last night during dinner he remembered the things that make his daddy laugh until tears are rolling. And so he insisted on doing and saying each and every one.

As I sat there in complete contentment I said a quick thank you prayer that it's only April. I still have at least five more months of outdoor bliss with my family. So much time for the patio and running in the grass and sliding down slides and swinging on swings. But mostly there's so much time for just sitting in the evening breeze, pointing at ducks and making each other laugh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just a Different Day, That's All

Same thing, different year.


What a Croc!

Thanks for the Crocs, Nana!

Red Noses and a Dusty House

Due to the fact that we've been outside every day for hours on end, I have nothing to write about except for my sunburned nose and my ever-dirtying house. So I'm going to resort to posting some more pictures of the playground. If you're upset about not getting to read something ├╝ber insightful just be thankful that I'm not writing yet another post to complain about how cold and awful the weather is. There's definitely nothing to complain about this week in that department. Just check out my sunny pictures!

"Wait for me Dad!"

"Look at my big belly!"

"Horsie ride!" "Weeeeee!"

"Can you see how messy my shirt is?"

"I'm not so sure about this mommy."

"OK I guess it's fun!"

Whoa! Daddy can go high!

Umm, wait a second. Which one is the kid I'm supposed to be taking pictures of?

And now for the grand finale...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Start Seeing Motorcycles

Last night after dinner we headed over to the playground for the second time that day. With temps in the upper 70s how could we resist?

Our favorite playground is less than two blocks from our house but to get there we need to cross a fairly busy intersection. As we were waiting for our walk signal we heard a motorcycle revving its engine. The light turned green and the motorcyclist took off...except...except that it all went wrong.

The driver must have given the cycle too much gas because when he tried to go his front wheel popped high in the air. I'll admit it, at first I thought he was showing off. But then the rear wheel started hopping around on the pavement like a pogo stick before the whole bike finally skidded onto its side right smack dab in the middle of the intersection. Afterward Brian said something about how the driver must have done something with the clutch? I don't know how to drive a stick shift so when I hear clutch I tune out. Unless of course we're talking purses.

Anyway if you've ever been in an accident or witnessed one you know that in the few seconds when it's over and everything settles there's complete silence. All cars in all directions had stopped and no one was moving. And then, like a pin dropping, came a tiny but very, very audible voice.

"Uh oh."

"Uh oh."

"UH OH!"

William's comedic timing was spot on. And don't worry. I wouldn't be making light of this situation if the driver wasn't OK. He was fine. I think the only thing that was left bruised and battered was his ego. Oh, and probably his motorcycle. Ouch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day in our Neighborhood

It's only a little after 11 o'clock this morning and we've already eaten breakfast, cleaned up, made beds, gotten dressed, been to the park for an hour and a half and had a mid-morning snack.

Maybe for your family this isn't quite the feat I'm making it out to be but it definitely is for Mama Nash and little William. Now that we're nearing summer, William has decided to take up summer hours. He wakes up about an hour earlier and goes to bed about an hour later in the evening. His version of Daylight Savings Time, I guess. But he's been compensating his lack of night-time sleeping with a longer nap during the day. And after seeing him at the playground, boy does he need it.

And Mama Nash is quite OK with this schedule seeing as it is only a little after 11 o'clock, is very sunny and she, being a sun-loving goddess, is feeling very tempted by that patio right now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: April 17

Eats: Stuffed Pepper Soup and Roasted Veggies (both leftovers)

Dessert: Just a couple of bites of Brian's dish of Cookies 'n' Cream ice cream.

Drink: Did I have wine? I think so. Or did I have a beer? Shoot. This is what happens when I wait to post this two days later.

Entertainment: Another new episode of The Office and the unfortunate yet well-played Wild game. Hopefully they can pull it out in Game 6.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American "I"

This morning I was flipping through the channels to see if I could get the latest weather report (I wanted to know if it was going to rain) when I spotted a peculiar, yet familiar, dialogue on PBS. Sesame Street was doing a spoof on American Idol. I couldn't believe it! Do toddlers and/or preschoolers really know and understand American Idol so much that Sesame Street is now capitalizing on its popularity? Or was this one of those sketches where maybe the kids could enjoy it but it was more for the adults to get a bit of an inside chuckle?

I'm not going to lie. The Nashes love them some American Idol. But William is always in bed before it starts. Thank you, TiVo.

The premise of the parody was that all these alphabet letters wanted to be the letter "I". First "B" tried out, then "W" and finally "I".

The Muppet judges even paralleled the real American Idol judges. There was a gal who was just like Paula who would make comments like "You are beautiful!" and "You are who you are." Oscar the Grouch made an appearance as, you guessed it, Simon. And the third judge was a barking dog (or is it dawg?) who I can only assume was meant to be Randy.

I Googled "Sesame Street American "I" to see if I could find a video clip to link up here. I couldn't find anything. But I did find this on the Sesame Street Workshop website. Guess I'm way behind the crowd on my Sesame Street going-ons.

Anyway, here I am, the total loser making a post about it. But even more proof that I was a total sucker for this sketch was that I actually watched it. From start to finish. Without my son. Because he was busy watching this.

Welcome Back, Good Friend

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

At the Park

Yay! We finally made it to the park for the first time this year. The temperature is flirting with 70 degrees and the winds have died down from yesterday so I thought it was high time. William and I both got good and sweaty running around from the the swings to the slides and back up the ladder again. It's funny how quickly you forget to dress for warmer weather. We both had on long pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes. When we were there for five minutes and William's face was already bright red, I knew I had dressed him in too many layers.

It's so crazy to me how different a trip to the park is this year compared to last year. Last year we could pretty much only do the swings and maybe the slide as long as I was holding him. This year I have to chase him everywhere. He wants to go up the ladder on his belly but then come back down on his feet. Something he has not quite mastered yet as proof by a scratch on his cheek from falling into the wood chips. If this trip is any indication of how my summer will go, I should be in pretty good shape come August or September!

Hmmm...what to do first...

Up the ladder of course!

Nice horsie.

Weeeeeeee!

I think I heard a puppy dog barking over here.

Ok...now! Oooook...NOW! Ok, NOW!

Whoops, flipped over. Don't know how that happened.

Peek-a-boo!

I'm running...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mommy Instincts Calling

So I'm here today to tell you that if you are a mother you need to always, ALWAYS trust those mommy instincts. Don't let the doubt cast a shadow over what you already know. Don't let anyone else tell you that you are wrong. EVEN if that person has a white coat and his or her title begins with a "D" and an "R".

Last week you heard me rant on and on about how my world was all out of sorts. About how I knew (I knew!) that William had an ear infection. Fever, no appetite, restless sleeping and endless crying. And most of all I could see it in his eyes or "windows" as my latest novel is calling them. But they're more than windows into the soul. Eyes tell it all and they especially tell it all when you're sick.

My mommy radar was sounding all alarms. "WHOOP! WHOOP!" And on Thursday I let some lady, who had never seen William before and knew nothing about his history, tell me to ignore those alarms. Even as she was trying to check his ears and he was yelping out in pain, she told me they were fine. Uh huh.

So feeling rather defeated and a bit hopeless with the situation, I let Brian bring William back into the clinic on Saturday morning without me. This time William saw a nurse practitioner who had seen him in the past.

Let me pause this story for just a minute to applaud nurse practitioners. I love nurse practitioners. They bring the human factor back in to everyday check-ups. I love how William's regular physician (who isn't a physician at all but rather one of these nurse practitioners) throws away the checklist and gets down to his eye level and really gets to know him for who he is. When I raise concerns she is constantly reassuring me with phrases like, "Well that's just normal for him and who he is." I love that! Don't get me wrong, I think doctors definitely have their place and God knows they did wonders for him when he was in the NICU, but for everyday checkups, I'm all about the nurse practitioners.

Ok, unpause. So Brian's in with this nurse practitioner (different person than his regular one) and she checks his left ear (the one that I knew was infected) and William, such a good little boy, winces at the pain probably knowing it just has to be done. She says, yep, it's pretty bad. She prescribed the highest level of antibiotics (seeing as this is his third infections in just six weeks) and a bottle of numbing drops.

I'm reminded again, and you should be too, that no one knows your child better than you do. And before they are of age to communicate exactly what they feel, what hurts and what doesn't, we have the responsibility to take the signs we're given and to be the advocates of their little bodies.

Because William's infection was so bad it's taking a while longer than normal to get our energetic little boy back but he's coming around. I'm sure by the end of the week we'll be outside running around in the sunshine.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday Night Recap: April 10

Eats: Shrimp and Bean Couscous

Dessert: A small dish of cookie 'n' cream ice cream

Drink: None. Brian's still recovering from being sick this week. Plus I think we're all still recovering from drinking last week when I was out of town. However, Brian just picked up a couple bottles of red from Haskell's spring sale so I'm sure we'll dip into that this weekend.

Entertainment: The American Idol results show and a new epidsode of The Office.

So technically one of our Thursday night shows is back on the air after the Writers' strike. But I think I'm still going to continue this Thursday night post tradition. For one it keeps me on my toes. It makes me get creative in the kitchen on Thursday nights. Plus I know a number of people have found great help in the recipes I've posted. So here's to Thursday nights!

There's No Earthly Way of Knowing... Which Direction We are Going

Do you know what that title is from? Kudos if you do! My world seems really out of wack as of late. You know what I mean. When things turn out the exact opposite of how you would have predicted them to. Or when everything is just so off kilter that it seems like a sureal world.

First, my mommy instincts were all wrong. Yesterday morning William woke up with a temperature, no appetite and was generally just not feeling good. Right away I suspected it was an ear infection. Well I didn't suspect, I knew. Especially because when I touched his ears he would get really upset. So I hauled him to the clinic across town because our neighborhood clinic had no appointments for the next two days. The result was negative. No ear infection. OK...

Now this morning he's definitely progressed into the "very sick little boy" category. This morning his temp was 103 -- I took it three times so I know it's right. Then the real tell tale sign: He sat in my lap for a full hour while we watched some of the morning shows. Something we have never done. And when I say sat, I mean completely listless. So listless that he actually fell asleep for a little while. And if you know my little boy you know that is darn near impossible for him.

No doubt, he caught the same illness that Brian stayed home from work for earlier in the week who, no doubt, caught it from the three nights of partying while William and I were out of town. When the cat's away...

OK so more out-of-wackness stuff. Well, Michael Johns was voted off Idol last night. What?! I know. I still can't believe it myself. Michael was my favorite. One of the reasons I kept watching. I almost don't want to watch the rest of the show now. I said almost. In my little fantasy Idol contest I picked him to win. He would have had to been a dark horse to take home the title, I agree, but still, he doesn't deserve to go home this early. I think Carly should have sacrificed herself for being so horrible week after week. And because she has too many tattoos.

So while we were watching the Idol results show there was another show outside. A show of sleet and snow and, get this, thunder and lightning. And I don't mean a rumble here and there. I mean like the big ones you see in the middle of summer. The big light-up-the-sky lightning followed by a huge crack of thunder. Now if thunder and lightning in the middle of a snow storm isn't out of wack, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

LLOYD! LLOYD! LLOYD!

Lately William has been contemplating a new career as Harry Dunne's understudy in case there is ever a possbility of another Dumb and Dumber movie.

Cabin Fever

I can't tell yet if it's because he's an energetic little boy or because he's going stir crazy inside this tiny house of ours but my little monkey named William has decided he really enjoys (and is good at) climbing, crawling and hanging on EVERYTHING! And really, I can't blame the kid.

While I was away the mercury rose to near 70 degrees here in the Twin Cities. William was able to go outside with Nana and Papa almost everyday. But Mother Nature, sensing my return, has slammed the thermometer back down into the 40s. And added rain. Oh and just for some extra fun, a bit of snow coming this weekend. Yay! Do you sense my sarcasm?

So anyway now I've got this little boy who has gotten a taste of the outdoors and is now being forced to stay indoors. As soon as he wakes up in the morning I hear:

"Bub bye?"

"Bub bye?"

His eyebrows going up and down in rhythm.

Then, thinking maybe I didn't catch his drift, he points to the door leading into the garage and says:

"Shooos!"

"Shooos!"

Sadly I must say, "I'm sorry buddy, we can't put your shoes on because it's too cold and wet to go outside today."

He's not convinced. So he switches his efforts to the patio door.

"Bub bye, bub bye."

I slide the glass door open just a bit to let the him feel the fresh breeze. He pushes his nose up against the screen and pleads:

"Peeeeeease, peeeeease!"

So can you really blame me for letting him get away with this?

His newest trick is scaling the rail on the outside of his crib, climbing to the top and then hanging until his knuckles and the tips of his fingers are white. He giggles anxiously knowing there's no one there to catch him when he falls. And then he does fall. But he thinks it's funny. So he does it again. And again. And again.

Some Answers

We received some answers this week from the Las Vegas Police Department and from our dear friend, St. Anthony about the incident that happened on Saturday. It turns out that the luggage was stolen and parts of the contents have already been recovered thanks to a routine traffic stop by the LVPD. The details are still filtering in quite slowly as the investigation gets underway and even though not all of my mom's belongings have been found it still feels gobs better now that we know what happened.

I am now asking all of you, as has my mom, to pray for the man who committed this crime. We know that there were other stolen items in his possession so it is not the first time he has done this. We're not sure why he did it or what his life story is that got him to this point. But it is now time for our anger and outrage to turn into a bit of compassion. And we hope that this will inspire of a bit of compassion on his part.

And now a travel tip for all of you. My mom's belongings were found to not be with her actual suitcases. The only way the LVPD was able to identify that these were indeed her belongings was by a stray confirmation receipt bearing her full name from our attendance at the "O" show. When you are traveling it is a good idea to have your contact information both on the outside luggage tag and sewn into the inside of your luggage. And because neither of these would have helped my mom in our particular situation I'm convinced it's a good idea to conceal a third set of contact information somewhere else within the bag. Perhaps pinned on the inside of a pair of pants or shirt.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. Once again, St. Anthony comes through. Why do I always doubt?!

Thought of the Day

How does my email spell check not recognize "Google"? You'd think by now it would be a bona fide verb. Maybe it's just my computer's way of telling me that we need to update our old version of Outlook.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Coming Home

Now that I've gotten the unfortunate part of our trip out of the way I can tell you that we all had a fabulous time. The weather could not have been more perfect. It feels good to be sitting here with a bit of color on my skin after a six month hiatus of no sunshine. Highlights included seeing the Cirque Du Soleil show "O" (unbelievable!), eating at Lawry's and having one of the best prime rib steaks of my life (yum!), watching show after show of the famous Bellagio Fountains both from our hotel room and from the street and finally, winning big at the blackjack table on our last night.

But as most say when they return from a trip, it's sooooooo good to be home. I swear William gained five pounds and grew three inches. And maybe it's because I'm seeing him with fresh eyes but he seems so old now. He's running faster and talking clearer and his independence seems to have grown by leaps and bounds. I am told by my mother-in-law that he ate like a horse and chased their yellow lab around the house all day. And don't feel too sorry for Brian that he wasn't able to join me in Vegas. Each night I was away he went out with friends and coworkers.

It was a great time for all us to get away and do our own thing. But it wasn't too long which was a-okay by all of us, I think. Now that all of our batteries are recharged I feel like I just might have the strength it's going to take to power through this rainy month straight into a warmer spring. Crossing my fingers and toes.

Prayer Request

I'm asking all of you, dear readers, to take 30 seconds out of your day to say a short prayer to St. Anthony. I returned home from Las Vegas late on Saturday night. My mom, sister and I all had a blast. The only bummer to the 4-day getaway was that my mom's luggage was misplaced/stolen about 20 minutes before we left for the airport. I'll spare you the details of the story but because it only left our sight for about 3 minutes we are pretty certain that it was either stolen or misplaced by a hotel staff member.

We are working with almost every department within the hotel. Some have been easier to work with than others. We are praying that if it was misplaced, that it will show up soon. And if it was stolen, well then we're praying that that person will take what they want and have the heart to turn in the rest.

We've all concurred that these things are just "stuff" but I think you can all agree that if it happened to you, you too would be devastated. When traveling you take all your necessities with you. And when they're suddenly all gone it takes an enormous amount of memory, time and money to replace all those items. And of course there's all the shiny new outfits that were recently purchased just for this trip. And finally, and probably most importantly, there's all the sentimental items. Her rosary and prayer books were in there as well as some jewelry and her camera containing all the pictures from our week.

Thank you so much for your prayers and I will update you on the situation as news becomes available.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mama Nash is Out of the Office

I don't know what the heck I'm doing sitting here at my computer writing this post when I have a million things to get done before my flight takes off tomorrow morning. But yet here I am. I feel obliged to let all my dear readers know that I will be on vacation from the Internet until Monday.

OMG what are you going to do without me?! Here are a couple of my favorite blogs to keep you entertained while I'm away. The first is Testosterhome, a blog by a Catholic Southern woman who is a mother to five young boys. The second is Musings of Housewife, a blog by a mother of three from Pennsylvania who has some serious talent when it comes to writing with wit. I suggest you start with her Best Musings located on the right panel. Just promise me you'll still come back to read me when I return.

Until then, stay classy, Minnesota!
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