Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dear Anonymous Commenter

Thanks for taking the time to look at, and post a comment on my blog. Just so you know, if you swear, I'll reject it. Find another way, please. "What the heck are you talking about?" would have been published. Just FYI.

And what the heck I am talking about, if it's not obvious to you (or perhaps the video didn't show up on your screen) is the AMC television show MadMen, of which I posted a clip below. It is frustrating, misogynistic, captivating, well-written, and has the best sets and costumes I've seen on television in a very long time. It won an emmy for best something or other. I'm busy watching the first season now, and am thoroughly enjoying and hating it all at the same time. I want the clothes, but if a man spoke to me that way he'd lose a body part before he finished his sentence.

So that's what the He** I'm talking about. Now next time, clean it up and I won't have to go to all this trouble.

Thank you.
La Rêveuse

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Photo Shoot


Oscar Night, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

It's happened. The Mom thing. Not caring what my hair looks like. Not wearing makeup, for days. Heels? Nah. Jeans, jeans, and more jeans. Long sleeved t-shirts, hoodies and cardigans: comfortable, washable and warm enough. Why wear earrings when she's just going to pull them out? Who needs a fashionable scarf when she'll just yank on it and choke me?

Who needs to look pretty for an 8-month old?

Wait.

Oh yeah.

It's not just for them. It's for me, too.

This was Oscar night. Dr. B wasn't home and Rowan was down for the night, so I girled out. Curled my hair in big silly corkscrews, put on goofy makeup, and took a whole bunch of photos of myself hamming it up in the bathroom mirror. Then I toasted all the celebs who haven't eaten for a month with Girl Scout cookies and 2% milk.

These are a few of the photos, unretouched, just compiled. This is what I really look like. And see that smile? It's real, too.

I have to do this more often. For me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Comparathon

It finally happened. 8 and a half months old. She's pulling herself up to standing, applauding, feeding herself happily, can pick the Gerber peach puffs out of a mess of Cheerios, and yet could not do that one simple thing the doctors/books/websites had been saying would be the first thing she did.

We have a playdate tomorrow. It doesn't matter, I know, but still. It always comes up. Who did what when and who can do what now. The comparathon. I dread it. (But there will be beer.)

And she finally did it. I left her on her tummy yesterday afternoon in the middle of the bed and went into the bathroom for obvious reasons. When I got back, she was there, flat on her back, happily flipping channels.

Yeah, she can also work the remote. What can I say? I guess she's very advanced.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's for Supper?


Monday is here, and it's Menu Plan time again. Thanks again to Laura for hosting! Last week our menu got pretty messed up, thanks to the flu, a blizzard and Dr. B being absolutely swamped at work. This week, hopefully we can stick to it a little better. We did take advantage of an Xmas gift card, though, for a night, so it didn't totally blow the budget! I'm working hard to use what we have and reuse leftovers in new dishes, comme c'est typique en France . Anyone got a good name for this? I'm stumped.

Anyway, the menu planning is working very well for me (I'm less stressed, my jeans feel looser, and I am not wasting food), but not so much for Dr. B. He is a stress eater, and tends to open the fridge and stare/grab when he's freaked out (which usually is about 15 minutes before a meal is on the table. Grrr.) Then later, he feels guilty and tells me not to buy any junk food. Then when I don't keep a bunch of extra stuff in the house, he tends to get mad at me or else eat the ingredients for a meal, despite the fact that he reads this and sees the list posted. This weekend there were no chips for the lunch tuna melts because of it. He's going through a really stressful time at work, so I'm adding chips, chocolate, cheese sticks, diet Coke, and some of those single-serving microwave popcorn packs to the list. (It's not like he chooses an apple when he's stressed--get real!) Then at least I don't get yelled at.

So here's the plan for this week.

Monday Dr. B is going to be late. I have leftover turkey cutlets with a red wine reduction sauce and glazed carrots from last night, and I'll prepare some starchy accompaniment for myself. Maybe a little pasta.

Tuesday Our Valentine's Day! :) NY Strip steaks, Garlic Mashed Potatoes* (recipe from Pioneer Woman), Salad, baguette, a bottle of Bordeaux, and Ice cream. Yum.

Wednesday Spanish Tortilla I never made last week, salad.

Thursday Turkey kielbasa Sausage, onion and pepper hoagies, oven-baked fries.

Friday My Mom's Meatloaf, potatoes*, corn*.

Saturday Lunch: Meatloaf sandwiches*, chips, fruit Supper: Sausage corn chowder with Potatoes*

Sunday Lunch: Leftover chowder*, bread, CPA Supper: Hard-shell beef tacos, Spanish rice

*indicates the leftover liaison--I'll make more of one dish than we need and incorporate it into the other meal.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Appearance

I woke up today feeling much better. Rowan was cheerful, and we had a great morning. She played happily and then napped, and I showered (and it was wonderful; after two days I reeked.)

After lunch, we took Lucy on a long walk, and around 3:30 I began the pre-nap ritual of changing the pants, reading the stories or singing the songs or reading the poetry (today it was Shel Silverstein), snuggling her in her blanket, and laying her down.

No go.

OK, more singing and rocking.

Not.

Extra play time.

More rocking.

More singing.

Lying down with her.

Nope.

Lying with her and singing. When she screamed I just sang louder.

Finally.

I threw some towels in the dryer, put some bacon in the oven for dinner and grabbed a bowl of ice cream and my book. 2 bites in... "Waaaaahhhh!!!"

Again. I tried the whole gamut. Nothing worked. I let her scream for a few minutes and ate my ice cream. (That was not going to waste. It was fudge brownie, people.)

The oven beeped, and I had to get the bacon out or it would burn. I put her in the basket of clean towels, and she played happily for 3 minutes while I drained it and put the pan in the sink. I went to feed the dog, and she tipped over, banging her head on the ground.

Woo! That really made her happy.

She screamed and screamed until I nursed her into submission. Finally, following an hour of screaming and hiccuping, she belched. Big time.

I got her calm enough to play for a while, phoned my grandma, and waited for her dad to get home. While I made the oatmeal (yeah, the menu plan went out the window this week), he took the dog for a walk and I fed her some squash, mashed potatoes, green beans and applesauce. As I was spooning the orange squash into her mouth, I saw the reason for the screamin'.

Tooth #2. It's here.

Thank God this didn't happen yesterday.

Awake and Alive

It turns out that a 72-hour flu in a little person is only a 24-hour flu in a big one. Conversion rate, I guess, or I got the concentrated version. Regardless, I am thankful it's over. As soon as she was tucked in and snoozing last night, I also hit the hay, and after approximately 12 hours of sleep, I feel much better.

Dr. B, however, is on the road to ruin. He's been so busy at work, he got 2 hours of sleep last night, and 3 hours the night before. Anyone that knows him personally knows he is a 9-hour guy. He's always needed more sleep than I have, so I'm pretty worried about him. I'm glad he takes the bus to work--I wouldn't want him driving in this sleep-deprived condition, with the icy roads leftover from the storm earlier this week.

We're postponing our Valentine's celebration until we're both conscious (and he has a chance to get a little something for me--he felt really awful that he didn't have anything prepared.) The steaks will keep, and we'll celebrate on our terms. It is a nice break in a dreary winter to have a holiday this time of year, but we believe in making them fit our schedule.

Now, we all need baths. Big time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gift

Rowan gave her Mama a present for Valentine's Day. She didn't mean to, but how can you blame an 8 month old baby for giving you the flu?

You know you're sick when the smell of toast and coffee, normally my favorite smells ever, makes you vomir partout.

Luckily, I have a friend who's coming over in a few hours to bring me some 7up and walk Lucy. This is not something I am capable of today, and the Diet Coke I got yesterday just doesn't cut it when I'm sick.

I am not looking forward to the poopy diapers today. Ugh.

Excuse me. The couch is calling my name.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back to her Old Self


Mom says I'm a Stinker., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Rowan is on the mend. Her mild fever is gone, she's keeping food down, and as you can see, she's back to plotting all the trouble she can get into. Today we did our usual routine of breakfast, nap, shower, playing, poopsplosion, dressing, eating, playing, nap, and then headed out to run errands and bring some food back into the house. I've been trying to keep us to our planned meals, thus not keeping much extra in the house, which makes it challenging when you combine a barfing baby and a blizzard. But, we made it, just with many a craving that went unanswered (which is probably a good thing).

Tomorrow we're going to visit her Daddy's office and bring chocolate treats to share with his coworkers, and go to the library. After 3+ days of being stuck in the house, I need to get out again. Even if it is just to pick up shoes at the shoe repair place, get a few new books to read, and ply Dr. B's colleagues with chocolates and baby cuteness. (You never know; some of them may have kids who like to babysit.)

Joyeux St. Valentin! Happy Valentine's Day! We wish you hugs, snugs, and good chocolate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Push it


Hangin' with Dad, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Rowan's last big puke was at 1:30 AM. Right after nursing, she unloaded the full meal back on to my pajama top. No harm done, a quick change and wipe down and we were both back to sleep.

Today, we took it easy. Nursing only for her, and 2 morning naps. I got a few tasks done (bathrooms both cleaned, sheets changed, insurance stuff done, filing), but mainly took care of my little girl. Late in the afternoon, I rocked a hole in the floor trying to coax her into an afternoon nap. Unfortunately, she was stronger than I was, and refused to go down, but did spend some quality time with me vegging on the big bed watching King of the Hill and That 70's Show. You know, educational TV.

By 7 PM, I figured we were past the worst of it. 18 hours, no vomiting. We must be in the clear! She was energized, happily playing in her play station, so I put a handful of Cheerios in the snack tray and opened my laptop to dig into my 6 ongoing Scrabulous games.

By 7:30, I had learned my lesson.

Oh, and Lucy has a taste for things other than the content of diapers.

Sigh. Here we go again.

What's for Supper?

OK, it's Monday and Menu Planning time again. And I have a sick baby, so the store trip is going to have to wait. Therefore, this menu will definitely change based on what happens with her, but here's what's in the works for this week, at least so far. Also, you can find the recipe for Dr. B's Sorta-Thai Curry from last week here. Thanks again, Laura!



Monday: The Beef Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas (I forgot there is leftover chicken thighs that we didn't need all of for the curry yesterday. Gotta use them up.) I didn't make this weekend, because we went to some friends' home for Cincinnati Chili on Saturday. (We liked it!)
Tuesday: Norwegian Meatballs, potatoes and gravy and corn (because they're in the house already). Either that or go out because our friend's birthday is Tuesday. But if Rowan's still puking, that won't be happening.
Wednesday: Dr. B has a meeting. I have a frozen pizza. Hopefully I'll get to the store by this day.
Thursday: It's Valentine's Day! I don't know yet what we're going to do. We're still in discussions on this one. I was thinking steak, but he wasn't feeling it. We'll see.
Friday: Shrimp Creole with brown rice, salad
Saturday: Lunch: Red Pepper/Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (I put this soup on the menu every week and we never get around to eating it. So here it is again!) Supper: Turkey breast cutlets with Sauce Poivre, leftover brown rice that I'll probably jazz up somehow (I'll make extra), glazed carrots.
Sunday: Lunch: Tuna melts, chips and CPA Supper: Spanish Tortilla (the potato/egg one, not the flatbread), salad

Thankful

Dr. B often jokes that "we" didn't have a baby. No, he says, "you budded." She is like me in so many ways. Pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. Relaxed? Not so much. High highs, and low lows. Lives for music. Likes lots of warm blankets when she sleeps, with her arms raised above her head, and does a full-body stretch just as she's waking up. Gets really fussy if she's bored. Loves to go shopping. Has stinky feet.

Of course, she's like him in other ways. Loves the bath. Hates change. Loves prunes. And one new way that I'm really thankful for today.

When she barfs, she smiles. Relaxes. Feels better.

Me? Not so much.

Dealing with our first stomach bug here. I should have known. Brilliant me, on the phone with my stepmother.

"Yeah, I suppose it's because she doesn't go to daycare, but Rowan really hasn't been sick at all. A little stuffy nose, but other than that, she's been fine."

12 hours later we had projectile vomiting.

Of prunes.

Sigh.






*Note: due to this, the grocery trip will have to wait, so Menu Plan Monday will probably not be that interesting. Happily, we were invited to a friend's home on Saturday, so I didn't make the enchiladas then and still have all the stuff. I think I can also cobble together a meatball dinner and some pesto pasta with shrimp. Since Dr. B has a meeting on Wednesday, this could get us through until Thursday! Hopefully the puking will be done by then.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Hurry Curry



Dr. B is famous for his curry, which he cobbled together from friends' recipes, the ladies at the Asian market, and his own guesstimates. It's warm, yummy and comforting, and never the same twice. We'll attempt to give you the recipe, but know that it's always a matter of trial and error, your mood, what you have in the house or what was available at the store, and pure luck. The measurements are approximate at best. But it's good. Oh yeah, it's really good. (Hint: Wear your fat pants. You're gonna want seconds.)



Dr. B's Sorta-Thai Curry Chicken


Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups pearl barley (you can make more if you like, or use brown rice, but we love the barley texture with this dish)
* 16 oz. chicken broth (or amount needed for your barley)
* 1 T. butter


* 1-2 lb chicken breast or thighs cut in bite-sized pieces
* 1-2 cans coconut milk (DO NOT health out and get the low fat. It fails every time. Our favorite brand is Roland, but that's not easy to find, unless you live in Madison. The Goya brand works OK, and is readily available. )
* 1-2 "thumbs" (thumb size pieces) Maesri curry paste (we like the red, and the panang is good too but the red is better. Panang is much milder. If the directions on the package say use a lot more, ignore them.)
* 1-2 T. Fish Sauce (I know it smells like dirty feet. THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL. Your curry will not be right without it. And don't tell me you made it without it and it came out just fine. If you did, you didn't make Dr. B's curry. You made a wimpy no fish sauce version and it just wasn't the same.)
* 3 cups or so peeled butternut squash that has been cut in bite size pieces
* 1/2 cup raisins (we've tried currants and golden raisins, but they just aren't as good as the regular old Sunsweets.)
* Planter's Dry Roasted Peanuts (you want the ones with the salty coating--you'll use several handfuls)
* cilantro
* lime wedges


Optional ingredients, for when you're feeling frisky: natural peanut butter (1-2 T should do it), sliced scallions, honey (especially if it's too spicy), regular onion or shallots, zucchini, peas, eggplant (just keep an eye on the texture as those can water it down a lot.) Whatever you like.

OK. Now to get to it.

Start cooking the barley, according to package directions (total time: 45 minutes--don't get the instant stuff), except substitute chicken broth for water. (We tried with water. It really took away from the flavor of the whole dish. Spring for the chicken broth.) The butter goes in at the end, so don't put that in yet.

When the barley has been going for about 15 of the 45 minutes, heat about 1/2 the coconut milk in a large nonstick pan (that has a cover) until it just starts to boil. Add the curry paste, and mix it in until it's all blended. Add the remaining coconut milk and the raw chicken. Cook over medium high heat about 10 minutes, until the chicken is getting cooked but not done yet.

Add the butternut squash pieces, raisins and some of the peanuts if you like. This is also when you can add some of your "getting frisky" items. Don't add too many at once if you're adding a lot, because you don't want the temperature to go way down fast. (Add a little at a time, if you want to add several items.) Stir, cover and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fish sauce and continue cooking, covered, until the squash is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about another 10 minutes.

When the barley is done, stir in the pat of butter. Spoon some barley into each serving bowl, top with the chicken curry. Garnish with more peanuts, cilantro, and a wedge of lime. Serve with cold beer.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Firsts

Looking forward

I have nothing clever or interesting to say, but wanted to share two things.

Today, Rowan started thinking about maybe trying to crawl. She was hands down, rocking.

And tonight, she got her first tooth!

Is it weird that I am really, really excited?

(She is now applauding herself. It's pretty adorable.)

Monday, February 04, 2008

What's for Supper?

Is it Monday already? Thanks again to Laura for hosting! This week we're using up some bumps from last week, and using up leftovers in other meals as much as possible. Happily, there's less for me to buy at the store. Plus, Dr. B offered to make his specialty, a delicious chicken coconut curry dish that he developed his own recipe for--I love it, so am looking forward to it very much! (Plus the me not cooking thing is always good...)

I may do my shopping today or tomorrow, depending. Rowan had a freak out from 2-4 AM, so we slept in (I joined her for the AM nap) and she's down again. If she sleeps like she did yesterday (a 3 hour nap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), then we'll put it off. I have to run tomorrow anyway, have some prescriptions to pick up and dry cleaner/shoe repair, etc. to do.

So without further ado...




  • Monday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew, salad, leftover corn muffins (got bumped, because Dr. B took me out on Saturday.)
  • Tuesday: Homemade Pizza (last week I found a local pizzeria's "kit" at the store, with sauce, crust and cheese, but it had 2 pizzas worth in it. Going to use up the second one.) Toppings: black olives, artichoke hearts, chicken sausage.
  • Wednesday: Dr. B has a meeting, and I'm planning an Altoona shopping trip, so it's either leftovers or grab something out, depending on timing.
  • Thursday: Cream of Leftovers Soup made with leftover chicken sausage and leftover rice from last week, carrots, and celery; bread.
  • Friday: Tuna melts, chips, carrot sticks and pickles. (We had leftovers, so never made the tuna sandwiches last week.)
  • Saturday: Lunch= ham and cheese sandwiches, tomato/roasted red pepper soup. Supper=Dr. B's request: Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas (his favorite)
  • Sunday: Lunch=leftover enchiladas Supper=Dr. B cooks his specialty! Coconut Curry Chicken with butternut squash and raisins, brown rice.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Trying to Help


Guest Post

Mommy said Rowan's been kind of plugged up, and so she decided not to feed her oats today. She got prunes (I licked out the container), green beans, and applesauce. Then she took a nap and when she woke up, Mommy changed her and put her in a cute outfit.

She played on the blanket on the floor for a while. Then she fell over, and when Mommy picked her up, she started laughing and said, "it must have worked!" She tried to clean her up, but it was pretty messy, so she took her upstairs to give her a bath.

When she came down she was really, really mad at me. She yelled a lot and then she made me get in the bathtub and washed my mouth out with baby soap.

I don't know why. I was just trying to help clean up.

Love,
Lucy
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