Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A new nephew/niece

There's a baby on the way! Dan and Jocelyne are about to have a baby and I am so excited. Now that my babies are no longer babies, I miss the cuddling and the kissing and the milk breath and the flailing limbs and ... can you tell I love newborns? My most precious memories are of holding a sleeping 1 week old baby in my arms and just looking down at his beautiful face as he sleeps. I can't wait for Dan and Joce to have that same experience.

While we were visiting them just before the September long weekend, Joce had mentioned to me that she would like to have a Curious George quilt for the baby when he/she comes. We discussed it a little and I told her if she could find some fabric, I was the girl for her. As it turned out, as soon as I got home I got sooo excited about this little project that I went looking for fabric myself. Boy, was it ever scarce! Ebay became my best friend for the next couple days. I found a Curious George fabric book kit and a meter of Curious George zoo fabric. Then it sat whilst I waited for inspiration. That never came. I think this is the part where procastination comes in to the picture, Lindy!

Anyway, I decided simplest was best, especially for a baby and went with some beautifully bright colors to go with George and his zoo friends. Here's the finished project. Hope they like it as much as I do!

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Birthday Boy

Ethan. The E-meister. Ethaniel. The E-machine. Eth. My boy with the big eyes and bigger smile and the mind that is never satisfied until he knows just about everything there is to know. As a baby, he would destroy toy after toy - not for the sake of destroying but to figure out how it worked. He had curly hair until I cut it for the first time. He was always getting Caleb into trouble. The word "no" had no apparant meaning and spanking was useless because he had no nerve endings on his butt. He actually liked the taste of the soap we scrubbed his mouth with when he lied. My Ethan. The birthday boy. I will now be out $100 of popcorn and beer money!

We had the party the day after his birthday due to a scheduling conflict with hockey. We soon found out that first-graders have a ton of energy - especially after pop and cake! Ethan invited eight kids and seven of them came plus one party crasher. We had big plans to go sledding on the hill by the school but it was too cold, so the kids all came to our house. I never plan any games - maybe if I did the hyper level would have gone down a level. I always think that if I had been in school all day I wouldn't want to be micromanaged the minute I got out. We had tacos for supper, and boy did that go over big! There were kids who managed thirds and even fourths. Luke and I were amazed. Who knew? I will never underestimate the capacity of a child's stomach again. As it turned out I had bought just enough stuff - this from a woman who regularly overestimates food quantities and has a fridge full at the end of a meal.

I think Ethan had a good day. It's hard being the birthday boy and expecting to get your way the entire day and not having your parents cooperate. I actually remember that same feeling as a kid!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Baking buns

I like to cook. I like to bake. It's just something that gives me pleasure. The only thing I don't like is cooking or baking something that just doesn't turn out. Our first year of marriage was one of many, shall we say, interesting foods that caused a prompt drive to the restaurant. Of course, ten years of marriage have made that a thing of the past, but I can still remember the hockey puck buns, the ginormous pot of soup that wasn't edible, and the various dishes that all met an ignoble end.

So, after the barf debacle the other day, I decided the whole family could use some good ol' buns and borscht. My favorite meal (besides cabbage rolls, pizza, bbq ribs... who am I trying to kid? I really like food!) and something the whole family loves. Couldn't go wrong, right?
OK, I blame being tired on what happened next. As I was kneading the bun dough I realized my mistake. It was feeling, well, stiff. And as I punched the heck out of it, I thought back to those hockey puck buns. Not again! I had a decision to make. Bake the buns with the dough I had or throw it all out and start over. Being the person I am, I decided to chance it.

That whole day, while waiting for the dough to rise, putting the buns on the pans and waiting for them to rise I had a sinking feeling. Maybe I should have just started over. Maybe I shouldn't have tried this on a day with no or little sleep the night before. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It's funny how those thoughts just ruin a whole day. And for what? At the end I came away with buns that tasted slightly like biscuits. Not the best batch I've ever made, but not the worst either. I just wish I hadn't wasted my day dwelling on it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My supermom status takes a dive.

Well, well, well. What a day this has been. Luckily we got to bed fairly early last night or I don't think I could have made it through this day without some kind of meltdown.

First, I need to tell you all something. I am not good with puke. Give me any other mommy job and I'm there with my supermom cape on, but throw-up is simply in another league - one that I don't have my supermom badge for. I usually make Luke clean things up, but when he's working I don't want to wake him up in the middle of the night for something that I should be capable of doing for myself. Case in point: 1:00 a.m. last night I woke to what seemed to be alien noises coming from Titus' room. I leapt out of bed and ran into the room in time to see the second round of vomit make its appearance on his blanket. Me, the ever calm and panic free mom, started freaking out, just a little. I set him on his chair in his room and got down to the gag-inducing business of cleaning up the bed, the carpet, the teddy bear, and the one unfortunate dinky car that got hit. Took a good 15 minutes and then some. Finally the clean sheets, pillow, and blankets were on the bed. I lifted my baby up and laid him down, only to have him throw up on the pillow before I could cover him with the blankets.

This continued until I had put two loads of laundry through the washing machine. By then it was 3:15 a.m. and I was beat, so I lay down on the couch to get some sleep before the next eruption. Before I could close my eyes, I heard Insomnia Boy (a.k.a. Caleb) coming up the stairs to say he couldn't sleep. In our household, this has been a fairly regular occurance for the past 4 months or so, and I was predictably a little grouchy. I sent him back down, only to have him come up again 10 minutes later and complain of a stomachache. Now, not only did I not put two and two together, I made the ironic comment (quite snarkily, I might add) that he should either go to the bathroom, go to bed, or go puke. Imagine my horror when this dear little boy ran to the bathroom and promptly tossed his cookies (or, in this case, lasagna).

And so it went, with Titus and Caleb taking turns for the rest of the night and into the morning. Needless to say, they both sat in front of the TV for the rest of the day, nursing a ginger ale and nibbling on crackers. And me? Well, the supermom association called and have put me on probation. I think today might be a good day for a nap.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You know you're old when ...

Remember standing at the top of a snowy hill as a kid? Picking just the right place to launch your sled, waiting for the path to clear, feeling that rush of adrenaline just before pushing off. Eyelashes frozen together, snow down your pants, and the knowledge that you had absolutely no control over where you were going made it one of the most exhilarating experiences of your young life. I remember the feeling all too well, as my antics today can attest too.

It really wasn't all my fault. My husband seemed to remember it the same way I did. And with three young boys clearly thrilled at the prospect of going sledding on a REAL hill and not just the snow pile in the front yard, my fate was sealed.

It's called Suicide Hill. But we looked out at the people on the hill and thought it was looked appropriate for our family. The first few runs were quite tame, in fact. Besides the fact I had to pull a three-year-old on a sled up the hill, it was just perfect. The two older boys were enjoying themselves on their GT Snowracers and Titus was having a blast going down first with me, then with Luke, and then by himself. Then Caleb decided to switch things up and took one of the plastic sleds Titus had been using. Our runs were shifting slightly left of where we had been and we were finding ourselves in teenager territory. And then Luke saw The Run.

Caleb didn't need much encouragement. Taking one of the plastic sleds he ran the gauntlet of four jumps with only minimal difficulty. Ethan needed a bit more prodding but he made it down- if not stylishly, then at least in one piece. Luke was next in line, since Titus and I were prudently sledding down beside The Run but not on it. Taking one of the GTs, he placed his feet on the skids and crouched over it, standing but with his hands on the steering wheel. After the first jump he made the realization that he was going too fast and bailed. It was quite a sight - the Abominable Snowman slowly got up as the snow settled around him. I might have even giggled a little.

After that it was all about The Run. Different strategy, point of entry, and technique came into play. I watched many a person attempt The Run with varying results of success and failure. Finally, the sledding time was coming to a close. We sent Titus down the hill on the GT by himself for the first time and watched as he barely missed the jumps and came this close to running into a crowd of kids gathered at the bottom. Realizing he wouldn't be able to climb the hill with the GT himself I looked around and saw the second GT just waiting for me. I walked towards it and saw that my dear hubby had the same idea.

"You get on the front and steer, I'll climb on behind you," he said.
"Are you sure? It looks, well, I just don't want to get hurt," I replied.
"We're not going to go over any jumps, we're not even that close to The Run. Don't wuss out on me," he countered.
"Well, OK."

It went great. We flew by the jumps on The Run but didn't hit any and I was starting to think we were home free until..

"Oh, no!" I screamed. "Watch out!"

Luke jumped off just before we hit it, but managed a spectacular wipe out nonetheless. I was not quite as quick and as I soared through the air I remember thinking "I knew this wasn't a good idea!" Then I hit snow and tumbled head over heels for an impressive distance before sliding to a very cold and wet stop face down beside the GT.

I am now at home, sitting on my couch and nursing a swollen knee. My husband is beside me with a tailbone so sore that sitting isn't necessarily an option. The moral of this little story? Remembering sledding is one thing, reliving it is another.