Thursday, January 31, 2008

I would embed this if I could. Found it.

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. My abs ached from laughing.

I gotta get me one of those chairs.

Happy Birthday, Franzie!

A long time ago, a guy was born who became one of the world's most beloved composers. Here's my favorite soprano, Renée Fleming, singing one of Schubert's pieces with Claudio Abbato conducting.

Oooh, her voice just gives me chills. She can sing Happy Birthday to me any day of the year!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm too lazy to email this.

Today, Rowan and I walked our dog and a friend's dog (separately) and it was really cold and very windy. We got tired. Rowan had one of her really irritable days, so even though I was pooped, I eventually gave in and packed her up and took her to the mall. Most people would think the opposite, but going shopping usually buys me time where she's not shrieking. Hey, whatever you gotta do, right? So we went. (Just so you know, there isn't crap there this time of year.)

Anyway, I have nothing witty to say, but a friend emailed me this thing, and I though rather than sitting and typing in a bunch of email addresses to forward this to, I'll just post it. Reply if you like (I'd like it), but if not, here it is, for what it's worth.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not officially, because my parents knew twin girls named Ronica and Roxanne and loved the names (my sister is Roxanne, though we're not twins), but my dad's name is Ron, so kind of after him. My middle name is Heather, after my Grandma Helen. (I guess Ronica Helen didn't sound very good.)

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Maybe at my sister's wedding in November. I know I cried then, but I don't remember anything since. Probably that. The officiant did a really nice moment of silence to remember my mom, and I think I even saw my dad tear up. (He's very stoic, so that's an occasion.)

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, it's pretty awful. Kind of creative, though, but mostly crappy. I'd rather type. It's much faster, and more legible.


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Rowan, 7 1/2 months old.

WITH YOU? I think so. I like to think I'm pretty cool.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? What do you think?

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, never had trouble with them.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way, Jose. I have trouble standing on a chair.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I don't really eat cereal. I like toast. But when I was pregnant I craved Lucky Charms and it was one of the only things I could keep down.

No, except for my hiking boots because I can't get out of them without untying. My converse are always kicked off. Otherwise, I usually wear no-lace shoes anyway.


13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? I love the old fashioned flavors like Tin Roof and Rocky Road. Also Fighting Sioux Champion Chip. And right now I'm digging Black Raspberry. And Wavy Gravy, Chunky Monkey (Ben and Jerry's) and Bananas Foster (Haagen Dasz.)

I just reread that. I really have a problem.

tone of voice, I think. I don't know. What a good question. Like Julie, I also look at their facial expression, I think, too. That's very perplexing.

15. RED OR PINK? red

I am obsessive. I wish I was more relaxed. I'm trying REALLY REALLY HARD TO BE!!!!


Yes, fill up that comment box or email me!

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black Gap pants and no shoes. But my haus schus are on the floor by my feet. They are green wool felt clogs from Germany.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Homemade pizza with ham, red peppers, black olives and cheese. It was tasty.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The menu music for Night at the Museum. Dr. B is rocking Rowan to sleep, then we're watching a movie.

22. HAVE YOU HAD BRACES? No. Born with really straight teeth. I do have them bonded though, because they had a gap. I could do a mean impression of a lawn sprinkler!

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Toast. Especially made for someone else (it always smells so much more enticing!) Fresh coffee. Lavender. And donuts (not the grease, the sweet.)

PHONE? Dr. B. It was to say, "we're here to pick you up and your daughter passed out while screaming in the backseat listening to Peter Frampton." She's a classic rock girl.

Yes! If I didn't, why would I post it here?

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Hockey! Fighting Siiiiiiioooooooouuuuuuuuuxxxxxxxx Hockey!

27. FAVORITE KIND OF PIZZA? I love any with lots of veggies, and I also love BBQ Chicken pizza and Bacon Cheeseburger pizza that has PICKLES on it.

28. EYE COLOR? blue

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? yes, but I switch off with glasses because I have chronic dry eye.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Pickles. Cucumber and sour, please.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? happy endings. Or not, but I'm not into scary.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? We watched "Heavenly Creatures" last night with Kate Winslet, directed by Peter Jackson. We both hated it. Creepy and awful. I want those 109 minutes of my life back.

In a theater? Pirates of the Caribbean 3. I was pregnant with Rowan. She did NOT like it, kicked me really really hard for the entire time, and made me have to go pee about 50 billion times. I really have no idea what the movie was about, I missed so much of it.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? black fine-gauge sweater tshirt and grey cardigan.

34. FAVORITE SEASON ? early winter.

35. HUGS OR KISSES? hugs

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? crème brûlée. Best one I ever had was at the Mall of America, at the Napa Grill. I think it was key lime or some such silliness, but it was the silkiest, most divine thing I have ever tasted. I wanted to crawl into the bowl when I was done.



39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? I am stuck in the middle of Eat, Pray, Love. Also reading Yayas in Bloom. Just finished the Mercy Seller.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have a mouse. (Touchpad on my laptop)

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? We didn't. Watched the freaky movie. I did watch some Simpsons and King of the Hill before Dr. B got home, though.

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Wind rattling the cottonwood trees' leaves.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? I like the Beatles, but Dr. B doesn't, he likes the Stones. But really, I like both. Except I think the Stones are scary looking.

Probably Germany. But I lived in France!

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can put both ankles behind my neck and slip my shoulders through. I have no upper body strength, though, so can't walk around like that. And no, I won't put video of that up on vimeo.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? St. Paul, MN at Midway Hospital. It's closed now. My Dr. was Charlie Brown!!!

47. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR PET PEEVES? I have a lot. OK, a big one is when I see people out shopping wearing sloppy pants with torn hems (because they walk on them), flip flops, messy hair pulled back into a pony tail without brushing it, and chewing gum with their mouth open. Disgusting. Have a little respect for yourself and others, please!

48. THINGS YOU REALLY ENJOY DOING? reading, eating, cooking, dancing, playing with my daughter, talking with my husband, shopping, watching movies, traveling, laughing.

49. FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL (OR COLLEGE)? Music, French, Drama, English. I love History, too, but prefer to learn on my own. Class was usually boring or frustrating.

50. DO YOU DRINK COFFEE? Yes. Black, and strong.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What's for Supper?*** Updated

I'm on pantry-clean-out mode, due to the overflowing nature of it in recent weeks, and am proud to say I can now open it with nothing falling on my head. My goal is for it to be full of what we're eating this week, a few staples, and not much else, because it's tiny and we don't have room for loads of junk (and frankly we are not really likely to be snowed in for days either, so I need to let go of that obsession.) The fridge, however, is bare except for some citrus fruit, a few condiments, and the random rind of hard cheese, so that will need to be restocked. The menu has been made, the list written, and I'm ready to go shopping! (OK, not that ready. I still need to dry my hair, put some maquillage on, and eat some lunch.)

Thanks again to Laura for hosting this and helping me stay motivated! (Though I admit I put it off until today--I just really needed that nap yesterday afternoon...)

***Update: this all gets bumped. I came home from the grocery store to find that our power was out, and it wasn't restored until 9 PM. I was NOT going to cook pizzas over a candle, thank you very much. So we went to Quaker Steak and Lube and had disgustingly delicious cheeseburgers with wing sauce, blue cheese, and all sorts of other drippy stuff on them. Yum. And we had a really good waiter, which is always nice. Funny, helpful, but not too in your face. And he didn't squat. (I hate that.) Now I'm just trying to get an overtired baby to sleep. Wish me luck.

  • Monday: Homemade Pizza with ham, red peppers, cheese and black olives, salad.
  • Tuesday: leftover potato soup with ham and peas (from Sunday), une baguette, cheese (probably some of that lovely intense Brie from Wegman's), carrot sticks, pickles, applesauce. (you'll see these a lot--we have CPA a lot, especially if there are no veggies to speak of in the meal.)
  • Wednesday: Pesto Pasta with shrimp, red peppers, carrots and zucchini, salad.
  • Thursday: Quickie Beef Chili, cornbread muffins.
  • Friday: PAYDAY! Go out for dinner! (*does a little dance*)
  • Saturday: (Lunch) Chicken strips, fries (remainder from burger night), peas, leftover cornbread. (unless we have good restaurant leftovers, in which this can all stay in the freezer.) (Supper) pork chops, yellow rice, green beans. More leftover cornbread if there is any.
  • Sunday: (Lunch) Tuna sandwiches, chips, pickles and carrot sticks. (Supper) Crock-Pot Beef Stew, bread and butter.

Note: for lunches I usually eat last night's leftovers or a Lean Gourmet or make a quesadilla or something. On the weekends, if I don't plan it and make it at the right time, Dr. B will pig out on chips and chocolate. He's very capable of preparing lunch, but for some reason he has this sort of mental block about it, and would sooner mow down 500 g. of Lindt dark and 1/2 a bag of Sun Chips than heat up some soup. Go figure.

I keep ice cream around for dessert (usually later, while reading or watching a movie) and sometimes make some baked thing during the week if I get inspired. This week I'm thinking about making cupcakes. Last week Rowan and I made coconut chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but I didn't like the recipe that much (of course, I had to substitute one ingredient, so that could have something to do with it). Of course I ate them all anyway. Heh.

Breakfast is the same during the week (we both like routine). We both have coffee, toast (with choice of butter, nutella, jam, peanut butter), fruit (bananas or citrus), homemade yogurt (I make it in our yogurt maker each week--he eats his with honey, I like plain sour milky goodness). He usually adds a boiled egg or piece of ham. On the weekends, it's either this or he'll make a yummy scrambler with whatever is laying around, or sometimes will run out for patisseries. I don't function in the AM, so don't ask me to cook or leave the house before noon. Putting toast in the toaster takes all the effort I got.

Also: last week I got creative and made stuffed hamburgers based on the Bob's Bad Breath Burgers at the Weary Traveler in Madison, WI. The stuffing was divine, but I need to work on the technique, so I'll let you know when it's perfected.

MYSTERY INGREDIENT QUESTION: I have a jar of tomato ginger preserves (from a gift basket) that I don't know what to do with. Should I serve it with crackers and some sort of spreadable cheese like Chavrie? What other ideas do you have? I'm stumped.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Huh. I had no idea I was so risqué.

Or so lame. Sigh.

But here's the best part. This is why.

I wonder what would happen if I used the word "ass-splosion"?

Heh heh heh...

Saturday, January 26, 2008


As a kid, I was really ticklish. Extremely. Horribly. My dad thought it was great to sit on me and tickle me mercilessly. He thought I enjoyed it because I laughed so hard. I didn't. It was tickle torture.

Appears Rowan inherited something else from me. And it looks like I inherited something from my dad. (It's just too much fun to watch her giggle.)

Tickle, Tickle! from Ronica on Vimeo.

PS: she doesn't take direction well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What's for Supper?

I hate New Year's Resolutions. I'm not going to lose 20 lbs., become fluent in Italian, or cure the common cold in a year, and a resolution just makes me feel guilty 'round March when I haven't even thought about starting. A few years ago, I started making New Year's Resolutions I Kind of Want to Keep. ©

One year I decided to eat more salads. (I like salad. I should eat it more. And once or twice counts as more.)

Another year, eat more fish. (Same reasons. I don't often cook fish, but started ordering it at restaurants. Then I started making broiled salmon at home with a yogurt-dill-lemon sauce. It's yummy.)

Yet another, wear more skirts. And another? Call my family and friends more.

This year I wanted it to be good. I kept thinking. What do I need to get better at, that's not too much pressure and will trigger a bout of migraines or insomnia? Something I will enjoy, but have to do anyway?

And I got it.

I decided to start planning my family's meals, rather than buying a bunch of random crap at the grocery store and hoping it fits together. I got tired of staring at my over-stuffed pantry and not having any idea of what to make. And I got tired of eating the same convenience stuff over and over again because, due to the witching hour from 5-7 (aka Rowan's FREAK OUT time), I was to tired to think.

I used to be a from-scratch cook, then I had a baby. And got realistic. Yeah, spending 90 minutes leisurely making dinner while sipping a glass of wine and listening to jazz? Doesn't happen often anymore. Plus, living in a small home makes you really question the use of space, and storing food in case of a 3-week blizzard may have been practical in North Dakota where we grew up, but it's not here (and not likely, anyway.) Things have to change around here.

So I started. I'm on week 2, and so far so good. In fact, it's a lot easier than I thought. I found I stress out less, spend less money, go shopping less, and we eat healthier because there's less, "Oh honey, you had a rough day. I'll just take you out for dinner," thus eating a much higher-calorie meal and paying 5 times as much for it. I actually kind of like it (though I'm not going to turn down the occasional meal out. I'm not crazy.)

So though it's not Monday, I'm going to join in. (Thanks to commenter Sharon for showing me that I'm not the only one with this resolution.) And maybe I'll even keep it up.

This is what we've been eating.

Monday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad.
Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas (tortillas, seasoned chicken, red and green peppers, onions, sour cream and salsa), black beans cooked with a little salsa and fajita seasoning.
Wednesday: Norsk Meatballs (I made a huge batch and froze before Xmas), potatoes and gravy, salad. I was going to do corn or beans, but we have leftover lettuce so I think salad will do. ***Note: I got inspired in the afternoon and made jello. Whoopie! But it was good. Apricot jello, made with 1/2 pear juice, and peaches and raspberries. In wine glasses so it's Super-fancy.
Thursday: Dr. B has a meeting, so I'll eat leftovers or something.
Friday: Huevos Rancheros casserole (black bean, onion, green pepper, red pepper and cheese, veggies saved from the Fajita night), salad.
Saturday: (lunch) Leftover egg bake, (supper) Hamburgers and fries (homemade, though. Well, at least baked out of a bag.)

OK, that's as far as I got. I was planning Sunday-Sunday, so may have to remedy that to participate in this thing.

Last week:
Sunday: (lunch) tomato and roasted red pepper soup (Pacific), terrine de canard, bread, cornichons, fromage avec champignons. (supper) Sloppy Joes, Sun Chips, pickles, carrot sticks.
Monday: Beef Soft Tacos, spanish-ish rice (Tío Ben's).
Tuesday: Moroccan Chicken Stew, couscous. (Needed more cayenne, cumin and raisins. Or maybe garlic? Good, but needed a little more zip for our palates.)
Wednesday: Dr. B had a meeting so I ate leftovers.
Thursday: Veggie Lasagne, salad. (frozen from Wegman's--don't think I'm too ambitious.)
Friday: Chicken and Prosciutto Tortelloni with caramelized onions and sour cream, salad.
Saturday: we went out to the Elk Creek Café with Seth and Erin. Very good beer. Food was good, too, but they ran out of most everything (they're a lot busier than I think they expected) so I am anxious to try something I planned to order.

That's it. So, if you're a part of this, I'd love to hear from you! Maybe it'll give me some ideas. I'm always on the lookout for easy, good, and fast recipes!

Blessed Sleep

You know those people whose babies sleep through the night from day one?

Yeah, I hate those people.

Rowan's been on another insomnia streak, with 15-minute naps, couchers that are creeping later and later, waking up every 30 minutes and needing to be rocked back to sleep, and of course the 3 AM feeding that reappeared around early December. She is so tired, but there's no such thing as baby Ambien (though my aunt, who's a nurse by the way, suggested rum.)

I tried feeding her more as my SIL suggested, and that worked for a day. Then, back to the no-sleep crabtastic infant. Who is now spitting up more because she's been overfed. Great.

Our doctor admonished me for not letting her cry it out. He pushed literature at me, and said, "you really need to do this. She needs to be independent." So we tried. 33 minutes later, she was completely inconsolable. She had been crying and screaming so hard she was manic. She had that wild, terrified, completely freaked out look in her eyes, and she was drenched in sweat, hiccuping and beet red. We held her and consoled her to no avail--she couldn't let it go. She kept screaming. It took 15 minutes to get her to calm down enough to nurse, and then another 45 minutes to get her back to sleep. Maybe that works with 99% of babies, but not ours.

Yesterday was another super-crabby 15-minute nap day in a string of 3 such days, but at 6 PM she literally passed out (you know she's at the end of her rope when she starts shrieking) for 40 minutes. She didn't go to bed until 8:30 or so, and it took some doing (by that I mean I literally crawled out of her room on my belly.)

But I think she must have hit the wall. She slept from 9-ish (I know she laid awake for a while) until 6:45 this morning. Then at 9:15 she went down for a morning nap. And she's still sleeping at 10:40.

My Mom would have said, "Praise the Lord and pass the band-aids!!!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Golden Compass

Rowan's new hat, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

I wish she had the little coat to match.

And the talking polar bear with a saddle.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shameless Plug

If you need to buy something on Amazon, I'd be forever grateful if you started your shopping from my site. Just click on the Amazon box under "Shopping Broccoli" on the right. It doesn't charge you anything, but I get a little kickback.

Yes, I sold out to the man. I'm weak.


Topknot, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Rowan just learned how to clap. She gets very excited when she does it, and so do we.

Just the other day, she was sitting in her high chair while I made supper. Her dad walked in from work, and she greeted him with a big grin and clapped her hands with joy.

He was thrilled.

Today, I finally got the appreciation I'd been waiting for. I got my applause.

I guess it was some good breastmilk.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Mom and Rowan, day 3, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

My latest project has been to box up and put in the attic the clothes Rowan has already outgrown. I've filled two large plastic storage containers to bursting, and mailed back a big box to a friend, sorting things by age and purpose, and marveling that she could have ever been so very tiny.

Then I found a few rolls of film, tucked into the camera bag. I didn't remember what was on them, so I took them to the store and had them put on disc. When I pulled the contact sheets out, I couldn't believe, once again, that she was ever so little.

She's changed so much in such a short time. Just seven months ago, she was so small, so helpless. Now, our baby girl has learned how to sit up, plays happily with her toys (especially her little kitchen), jumps and squeals and laughs and dances, and even claps her hands.

She still keeps us up when we want to be sleeping, makes lots of messes (this I expect to continue for another 18 years or so), and screams and cries when things don't go her way, but now she has become so much more than she was then. She's growing and changing and living every day, and I get to watch.

What a joy it is to be her mother.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


It's January, and that means there's nothing very interesting going on. The Christmas stuff has been put away, there are no big holidays coming up, no trips, and nothing very fun to plan, at least for a while. I'm busy, doing boring crap like sorting clothing and cleaning closets (OK, I just need to do that. I haven't actually started or anything.)

But still, a girl needs a reason to celebrate. So let's celebrate January! Yay! Happy Boringness!

And how, you may ask? Why, with cake of course!

I stumbled upon a recipe on a box of cake mix* (yes I'm lazy. Or efficient. Depends on how you look at it.) before J, A and M got here, and despite having all the wrong flavors, I had the right ingredients in my pantry, so I made a cake. And it was good. Not only that, it got better as it sat. 2nd day cake was yummier. 3rd day? Fantastic. (If it lasts that long.)

Here are my variations, so far. They've both been delish, so I'm sharing. Go ahead and celebrate the tedium. The cake won't care.

* (I buy these little ones because I don't want to eat an entire 9x13 cake by myself. These are just the right size. They make a 8x8 square pan or 8 or 9 inch round size.)

German Chocolate Snack Cake

All the goodness without the goo.

It says 12-14 servings. Or, it could be 1. You decide.

1 pkg. "JIFFY" Chocolate Cake Mix

1 pkg. toasted coconut instant pudding mix, dry

1 egg

3/4 cup coffee

2 Tbsp. oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8" x 8" square pan.

  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  4. Cool slightly and cut into squares. Serve warm or cooled.

Chunky Monkey Snack Cake

Like the ice cream, but not. It's cake.

1 pkg. "JIFFY" Yellow Cake Mix

1 pkg. banana instant pudding mix, dry

1 egg

3/4 cup water

2 Tbsp. oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and slivered almonds)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8" x 8" square pan.

  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  4. Cool slightly and cut into squares. Serve warm or cooled.

This one is good with chocolate frosting. And I don't measure for the chips or nuts for either, just sort of eyeball it. Whatever amount I don't eat, goes into the cake.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Rub a Dub Dub

Yesterday was a rough day. Rowan was fussy, didn't want to sleep, and pooped. A lot. 5 times, in fact, in 24 hours. We spent some time at the mall, returning some Christmas things and shopping the baby sales. For some reason, she is usually good when we're shopping, so I wheeled her around Macy's and the Bon Ton as long as she stayed content, picking up several cute Carter's outfits and jammies in her size and in some bigger sizes for next winter. Halfway through the shopping excursion, she created the fifth "production", and seemed happy and relieved. I was sure this was it, she had to be cleaned out.

Today dawned, and she was in a much better mood. She took a morning and afternoon nap, played happily, and didn't even fuss when it was time to eat. (In fact, I forgot to nurse her for about 6 hours. Oops.) She did have a leak-through due to a massive pee, and got pulled out of her carpenter jeans, onesie and Como Zoo sweatshirt and put in her new yellow Carter's fleece jumpsuit with the little birdie in the cage on the chest, before taking a late-afternoon walk with Lucy.

Dr. B and I were having supper while Rowan sat with us in her Bumbo chair on the floor. She wasn't yet ready for bed, but was happy as long as she could see us. From time to time, I spooned a little of my applesauce into her mouth. (Note: she likes the Gerber version better.) Dr. B commented on how cute her outfit was, and I said, "I know, I love it. Pale yellow, and the darling little birdie! I think she can wear it to bed, with socks. It's just like a sleeper, except without feet, and she only wore it a few hours." After we finished our pork chops and potatoes and gravy, Dr. B cleared the table and I picked her up. "P.U.! I guess she wasn't cleaned out!" I said, and headed upstairs to the changing table to get her cleaned up and ready for bed.

I opened her diaper, and saw a little of what I expected. I lifted her legs to clean her up, and that's when I realized it. The real reason they recalled the Bumbo chair. It's not because of tipping, no, that's just a convenient excuse. It's because of what the chair does when a child is sitting in it while he or she takes a dump.

So much for the yellow jumpsuit.

"Honey!!!" I shouted over my shoulder. "Can you help me?"

"Sure, what do you need?"

"Just come up here. To the changing table," I said. "You'll see..." as I ran, baby dangling from my outstretched arms, toward the tub.

I set her down and turned on the water. She shrieked as the cool water touched her toes, so I lifted her and moved her a few inches away. Big mistake. Now, in front of her was poop, a textured tub bottom, and water. Baby finger painting. She leaned forward and started gleefully spreading the poo all over the floor of the shower.

"Aaaaagggghhhh!!!" I yelled, grabbing her wrists with one hand and trying to wipe some of the mousse au chocolat from her back while keeping her from sticking her fingers in her mouth. Just then Dr. B caught sight of the changing table. "Aaaaagggghhhh!!!" he shouted, "what happened?"

I rinsed 90% of the poo off her back, but looking at the murky water, I knew it was futile. I picked her up, thanking God she was still small enough, and sat her in the sink. I snagged the baby wash and gave her a quick bath, dodging her poopy hands while heading her off as she grabbed for the candle, matches, washcloth, towel, soap dish and soap. Trusting that she was mostly clean, I laid her out on her towel and carried her, hammock-style, into the bedroom.

"Wow," said Dr. B as he scrubbed away at the changing pad. "There was so much poop, it was in the little dots of the design. I got the grapefruit cleaner. And I'm starting a load of laundry."

I grabbed another wipe to get the last vestiges off her (a little stain on the towel proved the sink bath wasn't foolproof), diapered her and dressed her in another fresh outfit, and handed her off to him as I headed back into the bathroom, armed.

Those bubbles had some serious scrubbing to do.

Tinker tinker tinker

If you're not reading this through Bloglines or some such reader, you might notice a few changes. I've been wanting to update my template for a while, but finally got a little time to do it. I am no expert, and mainly just keep futzing with it until something works, but this time it was much easier. I chose a template from Pannasmontata Templates, edited a bit, and ended up with something I like a lot better than my last one. I'm sure I'm not finished messing with it, but for now at least it looks a little better than before. Consider it the eyebrow waxing of blogging.

Thanks to Doc for leading me there (unbeknownst to her), and thanks to Cristina Calabrese for creating and sharing these great templates, and for writing code that is clear and easy to understand. (Even for a novice like me.) You rock, girl!

PS: Anyone know how to get my profile picture to justify right? I can't figure it out.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

Les Fêtes

Back to reality.

Our dear friends left yesterday, after a week of good conversation, good eating, and lots of fun. The house now seems so quiet, with only 3 people and a dog in our home. We really miss them, and miss having such wonderful amis in our neighborhood, like we used to. We picked up where we left off, and shared many a laugh, baby tip, recipe, and a beer or two. They brought us a huge bag of les goodies françaises, including things to make our own pain français, cornichons, rillettes, clothing for Rowan from Du Pareil au Même, bonbons, and lots of other wonderful things that we miss. They can't put France in a bag, but they sure tried, and we had a wonderful time speaking a little, eating foie gras, and drinking champagne as we celebrated La Bonne Année. Too bad there isn't room in a bag for two adults, a baby and a 60-pound dog to sneak back into la belle France.

But, in a way, they gave us something they didn't even know they brought. They showed us our home, through their eyes. We got to play tourists, driving through the mountains, eating out at our favorite restaurants, and sharing the good things about Happy Valley. Finally, Dr. B said, he feels like this is his home. After seeing it through J's and A's and M's eyes, he can now appreciate the place we are raising our daughter. What a special gift. We can't wait for our next visit with them, whether it be here, same time next year, or there. (Donations accepted.)
Bonne Année à tous!

Photo credit:


card letter r coloured card disc letter o Bead Letter W A plain card disc letter n
(Image by Spell with Flickr.)

Wow. How cool is that?

Excuse me. I'm going to go type in some other words. I wonder what "booger" looks like in Flickr letters...
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