Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stress ball

I'm the stress ball!

It all started Saturday morning. I was worried all day about how Riley would handle a birthday party being at 1:00--when his nap usually starts. I was so worried about it, I couldn't relax all day. He had a great time, loved the inflatable madness, and sweat his little hiney off. We went home about 2:30 and he had a great nap, business as usual. I was so proud.

Today was his 2 year well check at the doctor's office. This was our 2nd attempt because the first appt. we were too late and the dr. had an appt. following ours. I was so frustrated because I zipped right off when school was over and couldn't have been any quicker.

I worry about what a mess he'll be at the dr.'s office all day (well, when I'm not teaching first graders about the regions of Texas, how to revise their lead, or fact families). When we arrive, he says, "No. Bye bye." (I don't want to be here, let's go home.) When we walk through the office door, he whimpers and clings to me. I hand him off to Mimi while I check us in (thank goodness my mother can go with us--it's not easy by myself). I hear him saying, "Go home." Sorry buddy, we have to do this.

It's not just the shots that stress him out (and make me sweat) but the whole process--starting with walking in the patient room. First thing--weigh the boy. Not an easy task. This time he didn't have to weigh on the baby scale either, we went to the "big boy" scale that you stand on. Well, Riley didn't stand on it--he picked up his feet and screeeeeamed! We ended up weighing both of us and subtracting my weight. How desperate do you have to be to get on the scale when you don't have to? That was me. Desperate. (He weighs 28 pounds and I'm not telling how much I weighed!)

Then we go to the room to see how tall he is, which means lay him on the table so they can put a yard stick up next to him. MORE SCREAMING, more stress. He associates the table with shots, so he doesn't want to be on it. It takes all 3 of us to pin my sweet boy down so the nurse can put a yard stick up next to him (34 1/2 inches). Dude, she isn't even going to TOUCH you.

Then we wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for the doctor to come in. Meanwhile Mimi and I are trying to entertain him. Ugh. He won't have a snack or a drink because he's too stressed. I'm getting hotter and sweatier remembering the last time we tried to do this and I was long am I waiting for the doctor? Wouldn't we have been right on schedule for our last appt.? Whatever.

Dr. comes in and mostly asks me questions. We all have to have our ears checked, our throat looked at, and our eyes--maybe even twice. Whatever it takes for Riley to do it. The doctor leaves, Riley waves "Bye bye" with a smile because we're leaving, right? Nope......the dreaded shot is next. Can Mama breathe yet?

In she comes, Riley panics, cries, clings, etc. I ask Mimi to slip his pants of because that shot is going in the front of his thigh. We quickly pin him back down on that "hurting table." I stay close to his face and hold his hands while the nurse straightens his leg out and gives him the one and only shot of our visit. Bandaid. Done.

Riley's fine. "Bye bye, thank you" he says to the nurse that just pinned him down and gave him a shot. My sweetheart. "Shoes...on" he says, meaning "Now can we leave?"

Yes, we're done. You're done. Breathe.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Slumber Party

We all drove out to Wimberley for our annual Bunco Slumber Party at Christa's and had a girlie ol' time. We brought munchies:

Crab Rangoon Dip with WonTons
Fresh Fruit
Fresh Veggies
Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Cheesy Hawaiian Bread
Oooey Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
Cream Cheese with Blueberry Raspberry Chipotle
Macaroon Almond Brownies
Kolaches (for Sunday breakfast)

We brought drinks:

Red wine
White wine
Gin and Tonic
Vodka with Blood Orange Italian soda

We snacked, drank, listened to music, played Apples to Apples and Music Catch Phrase, and watched part of the first new SNL since November--but the best part was we laughed and laughed. We belly laughed, the good kind.

It was fun and great to get away. We talked about how we're getting older--not staying up as late, not drinking as much, all wanting to sleep on a bed or couch, and nobody throws up.

We woke up pretty early and sat out on the front porch for a couple of hours. We drank coffee, ate kolaches and fruit, flipped through People and SI Swimsuit edition. We talked about places we'd been, places we want to visit, and shared our stories of how we'd met our husbands (even though we knew them already).

It was a delightful time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back Porch

The backporch has become a special place to me...

It is a place to have coffee with my husband on weekend mornings.

It is a place to tend to my flowers.

It is a place where we watch Riley grow and learn.

It is a place where we can get fresh air, even when it's raining.

It is a place with little distraction.

It is a place to watch the seasons (or lack of seasons).

It is a place to think.

It is a place we can play with a little less attention than the front yard.

It is a place to watch a beautiful sunset.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

At school, the counselor comes to do lessons on friendship, making good choices, teamwork, etc. Well the latest lesson was teamwork and the goal was to make welcome mats on the sidewalk entrances of the school with sidewalk chalk. Well, we're out there, writing the school's name, the mascot, paws, happy faces, etc. I wrote "We love to learn." and one of my kids asked the counselor how to spell "lover." She was going to write:

We are lovers!

Ha! Yes dear, we are, but everyone might not take that the way you mean it. I think she was mixing up, "I love learning" and "We are learners" and there you have it--"We are lovers!"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Riley is obsessed with The Backyardigans. I'm not sure when the craziness started, but I think it was around Christmas.

Probably about a year ago, Mimi and G bought him a Backyardigans guitar (and we didn't know who they were) that sang a couple of songs that Riley really liked. He would dance to it. day we were watching t.v. and happened to pass them by. Riley got very excited and I stopped. He would dance around and just watch it for a few minutes at a time and call them "A yard."

At Christmas, Aunt Robbye and Uncle Mike bought him a car that was Backyardigans and didn't know. Robbye told Russ, "Here are the stickers we didn't put on it--they are some goofy looking animals."

NOW Riley has to watch Backyardigans every day when we get home from school. We have episodes (probably 16 of them) recorded on our DVR. On the way home from school, he goes through our routine...."Tahoe"......"Box" (that's the mailbox)......"Home"......"Dada work"........."Agains"......"Milk"........"Two" (yes, still from the Advent calendar. Can anybody help me with this??). He doesn't like to deviate from the schedule either.

We have Backyardigans on the DVR, a book, a pirate ship in the bathtub (and a two year old who says "Argh.", a sectioned plate, a jam box, a DVD, and I stopped myself from buying a Backyardigans sippy cup at the grocery store last night. Thank goodness.

Uniqua (pink)

Tyrone (orange)

Pablo (blue)

Tasha (yellow)

Austin (purple)

Some of the songs are really cute and Riley knows some of the words and will watch, sing along, and dance. After we watch 2 episodes, we tell him that it's over and he's okay with that. Though he probably would prefer "A-yard-gins" be on 24/7 around here

Friday, February 15, 2008

Flying Jacob...the story

While in Sweden in 2004, our Swedish friends, Thomas and Lotta were planning a Swedish dinner for us, homeade! We stopped at the grocery store after a day on the town in Gothenburg and picked up a few items: peanuts, chicken breasts, bananas, whipping cream, chili sauce, bacon, etc. Okay, no problem!

Then we get home and realize that those ingredients were dinner. Yes, put them all together. I can handle each of them, but mixed together I'm not so sure.

Ugh...I'm such a picky eater. Russ is NOT really an out of the box eater either, but he likes less than I do I think (in his defense, he's definitely broadening his horizons). How were we going to tell our dear friends that we couldn't stomach this concoction?

There's Lotta in the kitchen, cutting chicken breasts, slicing bananas, and the worst part.....whipping cream and folding chili sauce into it. DISGUSTING.

Russ and I had dinner with our friends.....and surprisingly LOVED it. I had to have the recipe and I've made it a few times at home.
There's my story. I think you'll be surprised, just like we were.....pleasantly. The best part is the connnection we have to the makes us miss "The Swedes" even more.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Valetine's Day......not sure what I think of it. It's overrated, but it needs to be acknowledged, please. A card at the very least. Russ did good--he gave me a learning session with a fantabulous photographer--I appreciate that much more than overpriced flowers.

Here are some pics from Valentine's Day....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You'll Never Believe Me......

until you try it for yourself. It's delicious!

Flying Jacob

4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 bananas, sliced lengthwise (I cut in half first)
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups chili sauce
6 slices bacon

(I know I know, you're doubting me already--I was a doubter too, once.)

Cut chicken into chunks and place in bottom of baking dish. Slice bananas and put on top. Whip whipping cream and fold in chili sauce. Bake 25 minutes at 350.

While baking, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, cool, and crumble.

Sprinkle bacon and peanuts over dish when it comes out of the oven.

Serve over rice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Riley Says....

Riley knows his colors well (except for brown, black, and white) and he LOVES school buses. He says they are orange and you know what, he's SO right. So why do we say they are yellow?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Phil's Ice House

If you haven't been, go. It's on Burnet Road, just south of Koenig.

It's casual, has a playground to entertain the kids when they're finished eating, mostly outdoor seating with umbrellas, and Amy's is next door.

Great burgers, fries are a mix of sweet and white potatoes, and the shakes.....well I said it was next door to Amy's.

Breathe a sigh of relief.....

My sweet mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2006. She had a mastectomy and recovered well. The toughest part of her recovery was not being able to pick up her grandson.

Last week, Mom informed me that they saw something in an x-ray and wanted to look further. A bone scan was scheduled for Thursday. I've been extremely anxious about it and mom has too, but she'd never let me in on it--she's too selfless.

I called to check in (we talk at least once a day) and she said that they called with good news--her bone scan was identical to one she had three months ago. The spot they saw was a spot of osteoperosis and it was on the last one. Great news, praise God!

I can't say enough about my mother or how much I love her. She's my oldest friend. She is always there to listen, she sets me straight when I'm wrong.

Thank you for being you. I love you, WE love you.

Blue Eyes

Willie Nelson shouldn't be messed with....but I'm going to!!! As you can see, Willie gets ALL the credit.

Blue eyes smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue eyes do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but bluebirds all day long
Never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin' but blue eyes from now on
(Blue eyes smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue eyes do I see)
Never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly
Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin' but blue eyes from now on
Nothin' but blue eyes from now on

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thank you, Groundhog

We spent some time in the backyard this morning--me with the waterhose, Riley with his watering can. I clipped away some dead leaves and saw buds and tiny new green growth in flowerpots and in the garden. Spring is coming!!

There are geranium blooms

Ice plant blooms

New growth and buds on a no-name plant


Doak in the backyard. Believe it or not, it was an accident that I captured the lick. I was just playing and didn't know I got the tongue action until it popped up on my screen.

Friday, February 8, 2008

From The Cook

I love to cook....and therefore I love recipes. I'll print them from the internet, rip from a magazine (not all magazines though), tear them from a newspaper, hound a friend until I get what I want from them, etc.

I have magazines boxes filled with gallon sized Ziploc bags filled with recipes in my pantry. Is that weird? I have the bags labeled : appetizers, cookies, soups, main dishes, chicken, desserts, for the grill, seafood, veggies, sides, you get the picture.

I make a pile of my recipe collection, and then every so often I "file" them in the right bag. Spread them out alphabetically and sort the recipes into their desired location.

What I do hate though, are recipes that can go two ways: Melissa's Pumpkin Chipper Muffins--do they go in breakfast or breads? Why do things like this make me insane? I even asked Russ where to put it. As if he would answer that. He said, "You know more about this stuff than I do!" Bless him.

Every so often, I'll get out the bags and go through them, looking for something interesting, add the ingredients to my grocery list and try it. If it's a hit, it goes in my "tried and true" cookbook filled with recipes that I like. When a recipe goes in the book, I throw away the original--and it's almost as wonderful of a feeling as crossing something off my to do list. (The more I write, the crazier I sound!)

Last weekend I went through all of the bags, it took a while. I pulled 2 or 3 recipes from each bag and put them in a file folder--for easy access. I'll try the stuff, write down what I like in that cookbook of mine, and refill it when it's getting low. That is fun for me. WHY?

Are you dying to know what's in the folder? Here you go:

Olive Stuffed Chicken with Almonds
Peanutty Chocolate Banana Bread
A and Z Dip
Margarita Dessert Dip with Cinnamon Chips
Orange Crumble Top Muffins with Orange Butter
Amazing Overnight French Toast
Kids Creamy, Fruity Stuffed French Toast Hearts
Squillionaire's Shortbread
Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
Almond Macaroon Brownies
Chicken Pot Pie (Melissa's)
Noodle and Spinach Casserole
Broiled Sweet and Tangy Tilapia
Baked Scallops
Crunchy New Potatoes
Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
Savory Zucchini Sticks
Orange Glazed Asparagus

Sounds good, doesn't it? That isn't even 100th of the recipes I've collected...and continue to collect. Now get to cookin'!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Riley's new favorite song to sing EVERY night (he doesn't forget) is "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee." After we read his books and turn off the light, he looks at me with bright eyes and says, "Baby....ouch" and cups his hand together like the bee's in there.

We sing least I try. I've forgotten the words (and this blog will remind me to look them up) and sing nightly:

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee

OUCH! He stung me!

I'm squishing up my baby bumblebee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm squishing up my baby bumblebee

EWWW! I'm all messy!

I'm wiping off my baby bumblebee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm wiping off my baby bumblebee

'Night 'night baby bumblebee (can you tell this is where I can't even fake an ending?)

And of course he wants to sing it again! He does all the hand motions and says OUCH after every verse, even if it doesn't make sense...who cares? Now I'm wondering if I really do need to know the "real" words. Maybe ours are better....