Saturday, August 30, 2008


A friend let me order a couple of free-range chickens from her farmer's group, so I spent three hours roasting one the other day. It was awesome. Delicious, tender, really chickeny-tasting, not dry--yum. I threw the carcass in the stock pot, added onions and skins, garlic, carrots, fresh herbs from my patch, peppercorns, and a bunch of water and let it simmer for a few hours. The next day, in our crock pot was homemade chicken soup with orzo, carrots, corn, green beans and peas. Along with some cornbread mini-loaves, it helped chase the foggy, rainy chill from our bones (unexpected in August.) Half the stock is in the freezer, and there is at least 2 more meals of the soup in the fridge for us.

So today, after Rowan woke from her nap, I asked Dr. B to "heat up some chicken soup" while I changed and nursed her. I planned to make us a quick sandwich to go along with it, but when I walked in the kitchen, I saw leftover lasagna being heated up.

"What are you doing? There's lots of soup."

"I thought this would be nice. Chicken soup and lasagna!"

"What? Won't that be a bit heavy for lunch?" I said. (Not to mention a really weird combination, but I didn't say that because to Dr. B this is normal. The man once served me spaghetti marinara with a side of plain steamed spinach. Ick.) "I'm not that hungry. We did go out for breakfast."

"Yeah, well, I didn't think the soup would be enough," he said.

I walked over to the pot, and picked up the spoon to stir it. "What is this?"

Instead of my lovely, free-range organic homemade stock delicious fantastic oh-man-this-is-good soup, there was some wimpy Campbells' with chicken flakes and carrot confetti (that I didn't buy, he did).

"Uh, yeah. Well. When you asked me? I had just woken up from a nap and I wasn't thinking clearly."

No kidding.

He attempted to doctor it up, but I must say, no amount of dill, garlic powder, Smoked Spanish Paprika and Herbes de Provence can add as much flavor as one can get by roasting the chicken themselves, simmering the stock, and adding their own veggies and pasta. And it doesn't go with lasagna.

So, anybody want some soup? We got lots.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I had to brag.

I am such an idiot.

After two lovely days with PK, me foolishly believing I could handle two kids, we got a whopper.

Not one, but two molars cut last night. Screaming baby clinging desperately to my torso for an hour and a half, and I couldn't do anything to make it better (and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the boring speeches or even Hillary's hideous orange suit.) Her diaper rash came back, though it disappeared by morning. And of course, I couldn't find the teething tablets or orajel, either. I ended up sleeping in the guest bed with her, so she wouldn't be alone when she woke up in pain. Neither of us slept much, and I woke up more than drained, because nursing was the only thing that would calm her in the wee hours of the night.

Bleary-eyed this morning, I turned the house upside down, but the magic meds were nowhere to be found. PK left early today, but Dr. B had the car (first week of school--he's swamped with meetings and planning and teaching and is still at work at 9 PM) so I couldn't even go to the store. He came home for supper, and watched her for a bit while I ran to the big box, desperately searching for the homeopathic air pills and goop to make her a little more comfortable. She took them without question, and even came back for more gel (I guess she likes that fake weirdberry flavor).

She went down easy tonight. Hopefully, she stays down. Mama's tired, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two's Company

This week I've been doing a favor for a friend who is a teacher here in town. Her babysitter's still on vacation, so I've been watching her almost-11 month old son, with me taking Monday through Wednesday and another friend covering Thursday and Friday. At first I was nervous about it, wondering if I'd be completely and utterly overwhelmed. But I knew that PK was a very mellow kid, and since Rowan was once again healthy, I hoped for the best.

And I was surprised. Amazingly surprised.

Though their schedules don't coincide, it's been fine. More than fine. Good, in fact. Watching them play together, interact with each other, share Cheerios and rattles, and even some dueling diaper-filling (Danga dang dang dang dang dang dang daaaaaaannnngggg...) has been really fun to watch. Rowan loves having him around, and I have never been so productive. My carpets have been vacuumed daily, kitchen floor quickie-mopped, dishes done, laundry done, bathrooms cleaned--all because I don't have to be her only playmate. She's not as bored, and her toys have taken on a new gloss now that there is someone to share them with (and steal them from.) We have shared some snuggly moments watching Sesame Street and cuddling on the couch, all three of us, and even swung together on our neighbors' swing set, my arms wrapped around the chains and hugging them both in my lap. His mom comes each day at three, doling out kisses and hugs, and we take an afternoon walk, talking and laughing. I do miss the comraderie from spending time with fellow teachers (and if she had her way, I'd start subbing soon), but hearing how much she misses her son when she's at work, I know I'm not ready.

And now, watching Rowan, I am starting to think, that sometime, maybe sooner than I thought, we will be ready to add another to our family.

But first, there are some more bills to pay. (So don't get excited, Dad.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Rowan is fighting through the diaper rash, thanks to all the great advice I've received. Dr. B didn't think it would be wise to change the antibiotic now (something about different flora?), but the combination of butt-blowing and Boudreaux's apparently did the trick and most of the rash is gone, the remaining bits not seeming to bother her and shrinking fast.

I've added yogurt (homemade) to her food, and upped her banana and applesauce intake to help the digestive issues, but I think the thing that worked best was missing a dose of the meds last night (woops). Today's two poops were much more solid.

This afternoon, since she'd done those already, I gave her free reign following her bath to run around for a few minutes, drying out. Everyone said, "leave her diaper off as much as possible!" I was told to lay a pad down, but that doesn't do much good with her, due to her newfound mobility and joy in Walking! All! The! Time! I kept an eye on her as she dug through my shoes in my closet while loading shirts and pants on to hangers.

Now I have some advice for you: This stuff is great for removing poop stains from carpet.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Yes, we have a girl. We've been to Target, and seen the rows upon rows of pink and purple spangles. We've got nieces, one of whom is a princess, and we've been warned by my SIL that it's coming. But still, we're trying to avoid it as long as humanly possible.

Clothes with "Princess" on them have been nixed, and her wardrobe is a mix of many colors (though she's usually in something kind of girlie when we go out because I am sick and tired of people thinking she's a boy just because she's sort of bald and has on jeans). Her bedroom is nearly pink-free, and could easily be reworked for a boy by changing the floral curtains for stripes. She has dolls, yes, but cars and trucks and balls and building blocks, too. She doesn't seem to have that little-girl-nurturing thing going on (most of the dolls are ignored thus far), and is much more interested in taking apart the remote control, though she does like to stir the soup (AKA the dog's water).

But, apparently, the fashionista gene is already coming to light.

When she was littler, Rowan hated anything on her feet. She'd rip her socks off, and rip her shoes off, as fast as we could put them on. We fell in love with Robeez, because they prevented it and kept her tootsies warm.

Now that she's walking, though, things have changed. She loves shoes. Loves. LOVES LOVES LOVES. She wants them on first thing in the morning, with her pajamas, and would happily sleep in them if we didn't remove them before bed. She loves to dig in our closets and bring us our shoes, and to throw all the shoes sitting by the door outside. She knows whose shoes are whose, and is very bothered when mom puts Rowan's tiny shoes on her gigantic feet. She will bring you her shoes to put on her feet, one at a time, and if you try to pretend you don't know what she wants, she'll hold up the shoe, grunt pointedly, and then lift her foot up into the air.

She's also very into other accessories, and loves to tug at Mom's necklaces or earrings, and turn just about anything into a stole, wrapping it around her shoulders and walking the catwalk of our hallway. The other day it was a scarf. Then the dog's leash. A piece of tulle. Mom's sweater. The strap from my camisole (while I was still wearing it). A kitchen towel. Then, an extension cord.

In planning for her upcoming baptism (her Aunt Rock and Uncle Josh are coming to visit soon), I knew I'd have to find her some shoes. She's long outgrown the ones I got as a gift when she was born, with their lace and satin ties. My own baptism dress, so carefully pressed and preserved by my mother, won't fit her now, so I found a little white toddler dress for her to wear, and even plucked a fancy white cardigan from the hand-me-down box, but I didn't have any shoes.

I checked all the fancy downtown shops, who didn't have anything, and looked online, but was disappointed again. Finally, I packed her up, and headed to the mall. We toodled around, checking the department stores and shoe stores, but had our best luck at Payless. I'm not a fan of their adult shoes, but the kids' ones seemed to be decent quality, and I couldn't beat the price for shoes that may not make it to Spring, especially with the BOGO half-off deal. She was measured, and I chose some white mary janes for her, as well as a pair of beige suede T-strap mary janes for fall.

I created a monster.

This morning, we spent 45 minutes changing shoes, until I finally got smart and hid them.

I am not looking forward to high school.

She's got legs..., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

These are her Nikes, a gift from her grandmother, who is planning to bronze them.

She is his.

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Family search

Well, maybe 30% more mine, but still.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Here you go, the money shot., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Rowan had a rough weekend, and no amount of anything would make her happy. She'd be fine, then suddenly screaming bloody murder. We tried everything we could think of to make her happy, and nothing worked. Plus, she wouldn't sleep. No naps, no way.

She was cranky and exhausted. We were cranky and exhausted.

Finally, on Monday morning, I took her in to the doctor.

She had pink eye, even though her eyes were white as ever (but goopy, admittedly goopy). And? Ear infection. Both ears.

I felt like the worst mom in the whole wide world.

My poor baby.

I picked up her antibiotics, and even had the pharmacists add some extra watermelon flavor to make it extra special. (I love Target's pharmacy, and it's not just because my stepbrother and his wife-to-be work at one. Their packaging rocks, they are super nice and always remember us, and the list of flavors you can add is a smorgasbord of fun!)

And the next day? Back to the screaming bloody murder.

Turns out antibiotics can cause gooey, explosive diarrhea that doesn't smell like anything (really, like nothing), AND causes wicked, horrible, burning red diaper rash.

Worse than the worst mom in the world, yep, that's me.

So we are plowing through boxes of disposable diapers (I won't wreck my BumGeniuses with diaper rash cream), using the Boudreaux's Butt Paste like nobody's business (that stuff is great), blowing her dry between the wipe and the butt paste, and changing her what seems like every five minutes.

After 3 poopy diapers today, I thought I was safe. Then, she farted. And smiled at me.

When she stood up, there was corn trailing down her leg. Among other things. Down her leg, into her socks, and on the carpet.


I can't wait for these 10 days to be over.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

C'est Moi.

C'est Moi., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Just more cartoony.

And my ears don't stick out quite that much, but what can you do?

You can make your own here. The best part is all the cute translation errors from the Italian. Molto bene! (Yeah, that was probably totally wrong, too. I'm sorry if I just said something nasty! Heh.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Loves Me Spinach

I used to work at an awesome restaurant. It was local, had great beer and really good food, and the owners were super cool. The wages were decent, the tips were good, and people loved to go there, so generally were in a good mood. On Halloween, they let us wear costumes, so I waited tables in a jester costume and curly-toed slippers, complete with jingle bells.

One of their appetizers was my manna from heaven. Nearly every shift would end with a plate of it plus a cold pint of Summit Great Northern Porter, and since it has vegetables in it, I considered it a well-balanced meal. Heh.

I buttered up one of the cooks enough so he let me watch him make the industrial-sized batch for the restaurant one day, and then went home and tinkered with it until I came up with a home version that's just as good, and easy to make. I made some yesterday for Dr. B's "Beer Meeting", but doubled the batch so there would be leftovers for me. If we don't eat it all, it may become spinach enchiladas for supper one night, too.

After tweeting about it and receiving several requests for my recipe, and lots of nice birthday wishes that put me in a good mood, and a cake that Erin made me and even sent home with me (yes I am totally on sugar and cheese right now), I felt generous. So, here you go--my birthday present to you. Enjoy.

Ronica's Blue Moose Spinach Dip (Spinach Con Queso)

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 lb. Pepper Jack cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz. (+ to taste) dairy sour cream
  • Seasoning mix of your choice (I use Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning--it's delicious! Lawry's would probably be fine, too, or do a once around the kitchen.)

Sauté the onion in butter until softened. Add chiles and spinach and cook until any remaining liquid is gone. Season with seasoning salt, and add cheese, cooking and stirring over low heat until the cheese is melted. Stir in sour cream. Serve warm with tortilla chips or bread, and it tastes great with a pint of ale or porter on the side. Can be refrigerated and reheated, but you may need to add more sour cream to make it smooth again.

The Last "Now I Can..." Milestone

Birthday Cake, originally uploaded by PinkCakeBox.

As of today, I am officially old enough to run for President.

That's not a request for votes. But I will accept cake. Mmmm... cake.

Note: I am not 65. Just noticed that after I published this. Pretend they're swirlies.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Great Grandma

My grandmother is in the hospital. She had a fall, and now they are struggling to get her blood pressure stabilized. She's been in for 2 days, after fainting in the beautician's chair.

If you would, please add her to your prayers or place her in your positive thoughts or send her your good vibes. She's a wonderful lady, and we want her back to her normal, sunny self as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My new kitchen

Flan and Bolero, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

I have promised to blog this, and never quite got around to it.

OK, that's a lie. My kitchen table was never clean enough.

So the day it was, I took this photo, and finally got around to uploading it. Rowan got a big new tooth yesterday, and decided not to sleep either, so today she is taking a good, long, overdue nap. Mommy gets to blog.

The colors are flan (the beige/peach color) and bolero (red, 4 coats.) The trim is the same, Saffron Ivory by Valspar. We painted the ceiling Marshmallow. All our colors are Sherwin Williams. We could have gone even warmer with the ceiling, but after priming and painting it twice, we were done.

Click through to go to my photostream and see a few other pics. I am still looking for cabinet pulls for the cabinets. Dr. B and I don't agree on these, so it will take a while. (It took 4 months for us to agree on a china pattern, and years to agree on a name for Rowan.) We tried brushed nickel, and it just looked drab. We might even go with some sort of irony-black ones, or coppery rust. But we haven't found the pulls yet. He wants modern, I don't think it will work with our furniture. So we're still looking.

BTW, you'll see a weird pic of the ceiling. Our ugly ceiling fan started falling down. Luckily, we realized it before anyone was decapitated. (Phew.) The do-it-yourselfer who owned this place didn't take into account the fact that a plastic holder-upper wouldn't support the weight of a heavy, stained glass ceiling fan. The one in Rowan's room is also starting to come down (obviously we aren't running the fan in there) so we have to hire an electrician to come fix it. Right now we're just living without a light directly over the table, and it's fine.

Oh well, maybe by that time I'll have picked out a better fixture. Heh.

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