Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Little Magpie

First it was my wallet.  Not just any wallet, but a really cool silver card case with scrolls etched into it.  I found it at White House|Black Market a few years ago and it's been my favorite ever since.  Missing for almost an entire week, my husband found it buried inside a bag of birdseed in our laundry room.

Then there's the chest of drawers.  When last I checked, the very bottom drawer was empty, with no trace of its former neatly folded sheets.  The drawer right above it held a toy tow truck, a banana-shaped baby toothbrush, and a can of chicken noodle soup (with egg noodles).

Dinobaby is getting into evvvvvverything.

Phone chargers and the battery charger for his baby monitors disappear the most often.  He thinks that they're phones for some reason and runs around the house in his little diaper, socks, and t-shirt with the charging unit against his ear and the wire tail trailing along behind him.  "HI?"  "HI!"

He also likes getting 'toys' out of the kitchen cabinets.  Lids are great for sliding against the floor tiles to make a funny noise.  The sieve can double as a hat or face mask (perhaps fencing and/or beekeeping are in his future?).  Measuring cups are fun to beat on with baby spoons.

I went to change out the clothes in the dryer last night after both of the guys fell asleep.  Not that I ever just leave clothes in the dryer and fish out whatever I need instead of folding things and putting them away.  Ahem.  I opened the dryer and started to transfer things into a hamper when I saw something shiny in between the socks and undies.  It was a spatula.  Thankfully, I'm pretty sure it got in there after the clothes were dry.

My husband caught Dinobaby washing his hands in the toilet last week, too. 

I'm sure you're thinking, "Why don't those idiots just babyproof their house?"  Well, we have.  Obviously, not as well as we thought we did.  We have cabinet locks and a brand new toilet lock.  A lock for the stove is on the grocery list as he's figured out that if you put both hands on the oven door's handle and pretend that you're on the monkey bars, it opens just like magic!  The kid's getting infinitely closer to being able to turn door knobs as well, so I keep praying that I'm fast enough to catch him before he locks himself in a room by mistake.

It's pretty funny 99.9% of the time, even if it's equally frustrating 99.8% of the time.  He's curious and persistent, inquisitive and adventurous.  The only thing he's afraid of is a stethoscope.

We hadn't actually experienced the not-at-all funny 0.1% until earlier tonight.  I wanted to use up the entire bunch of overripe frozen bananas that were crowding my freezer, so I found this lovely recipe for banana bread over at Tasty Kitchen (check out meeshiesmom's related blog post). 

I opened up the pantry to find some Pam for Baking which, by the way, I could sit and spray into the air and smell all day long.  It's like a mix of funnel cake smell and canned vanilla frosting.  Mmmm.  Anyway, in the couple minutes it took for me to get the Pam, find my loaf pan and a muffin tin, spray the things, and inhale the lingering frostingfunnelcake particles, Dinobaby had defeated the gauntlet blocking his entrance to the kitchen and fished out a bottle of Izze from the pantry floor. 

I looked down at him and realized that he was holding a glass bottle and he smiled up at me with his big brown eyes twinkling.  Immediately, I moved to take it away from him, knowing full well what could happen. 

Then, of course, it did happen. 

He dropped the bottle onto the tile floor and it absolutely shattered.

Thankfully he was still for the two seconds it took for me to step close enough to pick him up.  He was un-phased.  My husband swept him out of the kitchen to clean up his feet and legs just in case.  Did I mention that I was barefoot?

My pinkie toe was only slightly injured -- "It's just a flesh wound!" -- and Dinobaby was safe and sound with no shards of glass whatsoever.  The floor still needs vacuuming to pick up the tinier pieces that I wasn't able to see, but it was under control relatively fast.  It was kind of frightening, but things turned out alright.

Though it is kind of interesting to have proof that I'd happily walk across broken glass for my child.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Candymaking Tip

When making candies, be mindful not only of the bowl or pot of hot sugar you're pouring out, but also of the spatula covered in molten lava.  Sure, when you're finished you'll be able to eat something delicious like this cashew-almond-pecan brittle,

but you might also end up with a burned hand. 

One week post accident: 

Yup, still awful.

P.S.  When did my thumb start looking like the leg of a Cornish game hen?  I'm a little weirded out . . .

LLL . . . L?

It seems that since I first started blogging I've been meaning to write about La Leche League. At the outset, I wasn't sure how much of my nursing relationship I wanted to write about but, although breastfeeding is extremely personal and intimate, it's also something natural and beautiful and it's a topic that I believe needs to be discussed.

For those who might not be familiar, La Leche League International is an organization founded in 1956 by seven breastfeeding mothers who wished to share information and support as they nursed their children. Today, LLL is helping mothers, babies, and families in sixty-eight countries around the world.

La Leche League's mission is "to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother."

When I was eight months pregnant with Dinobaby, I attended my first meeting with the local LLL chapter, determined to learn everything I could about breastfeeding, which I'd heard was both a natural instinct and a learned skill.  While nursing my older brother and me, my mother had attended La Leche League meetings to find support and advice from caring, like-minded mothers.  Twenty-five or so years later, I found exactly the same environment and it's been a blessing for our family for these past 14 months.

Meetings now are quite different than the early ones I attended.   Then, I was still wondering who my little baby would favor and if he would arrive on his due date.  (He looks like my husband as a baby, but with my eyes, and he was a week late, in true family fashion.)  During those rough first months postpartum, attending a monthly LLL was so motivating.  At that point, outings were more about survival than having a good time -- just getting myself and the baby into the car, out of the car, and home safely was an enormous task.  I knew that if I could just make it to the meeting I'd be with other people who understood the sheer exhaustion and overwhelming sense of responsibility, as well as the surprising, ever-growing love.  Now my little man one of the older babies running around the room, curious about the blinds and carpet and the artificial plants, and about the mysterious sleeping bundles tucked inside their car seats.

My LLL Leader approached me at last month's meeting and asked if I'd considered becoming a leader myself.  I actually had thought of the possibility, but only in the far-off "maybe someday it'd be nice/fun" sense.  It occurred to me that, even though I occasionally still feel like a twelve year old, I am, at least technically, a grown up.  "Maybe somedays" can now become tomorrows.

Fostering an environment in which nursing mothers and babies are encouraged and supported is something in which I wholeheartedly believe.  I've also realized that nursing my son, who is such a healthy and happy boy, has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life!  So, after thought, prayer, reading, and talking, I've decided to start the pre-application process for La Leche League Leader accreditation!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Last week, during my latest pumpkin kick, I found a recipe from the Whole Foods website Turkey Pumpkin Chili.  Skeptical of that flavor combination, I made sure to read all of the recipe's mixed reviews and cooked accordingly by adding quite a bit more spice.  The results of my spice experiment were a definite hit and I've made it again already.  This time, however, I paid a little more attention to measurements!

Keep in mind that this chili has beans in it, so it's not a true Texas chili.  That being said, I think it's definitely worth it for anyone to forgo their Texas elitism and try this out!  You won't be disappointed.  :)

Turkey Pumpkin Chili
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 up to 1 whole can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 1 can diced green chilies (4 oz), with their liquid
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), with their liquid
  • 1 can-full of water (using tomato can)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 can pinto or dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a dutch oven over medium low heat, brown the ground turkey and drain off any of the watery juices.  Move browned meat to one side of the pot and add the onion, cooking until translucent.  Add a little olive or canola oil if necessary.  Once the onions have softened, add bell peppers and seasonings -- salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika.

Stir well and add in the pumpkin puree, chilies, tomatoes, water, tomato paste, and sugar.  Mix to combine, taste to make sure the seasonings are correct, and adjust accordingly. 

Simmer, covered, on low for an hour (or at least 30 minutes).  Serve with cheese and sour cream over rice or with tortilla chips.


My husband and I found out that the leftovers make for awesome nacho toppings as well.  Just lay out some chips on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese and top with chili and salsa.  Broil for about two minutes until the cheese is melted and the chips are warmed through.  These babies made our Friday night date with Smallville was extra special.

Annnnd yes, we are nerds.  Don't judge, you know that you like the theme song.  Somebody saaaaaaaaaave me . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

A List of Names I Call My Son

He's a man of many names.  It occurred to me the other night that my son has a growing list of nicknames and, as he's approaching his first birthday (how did that happen?), we should probably edit the list eventually.  None of them seem too potentially scarring though, right?

  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Sweet Pea
  • Sweetie Pea
  • Honey
  • Honey Pie
  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Biscuit
  • Biscuit
  • Cutie
  • Cutie Pie
  • Cutie Bean
  • Apey
  • Baby Ape
  • Sugar Pie
  • Sugar Foot
  • Chuby (pronounced "chew-bee," not to be confused with 'chubby')
  • Chubeanie Baby
  • Chubasco Sauce
  • Chubikin Pampwalker
  • Chubinho (for when he plays for the Brazilian national team)
  • Dinobaby
  • Baby Hulk
  • Little Man
 Then, of course, there's his actual name, although he probably thinks that it's "No sir!"  Poor kid.