Monday, April 26, 2010

Vote for ME!!! (Please?)

I am in the running to win a Baby Bunad for Bootsie.


You have no idea how excited I am by this. Here's a link to a baby in a bunad photo (I don't have the right to post the photo, but go see. It's soooo cute.)

My story is #1, about my aunt Kathy's first experience with Lefse. It may not be the funniest of the five, but if I get enough votes, I still win. Yes, I guess I am a corrupt politician at heart--I want that bunad!!!

Could you please take a moment and go over to the post and comment? All you have to say is Story #1, and they'll count you. And spread the word! I would really, really appreciate it.

And I promise to post pictures of Bootsie in the Bunad. Heck, if I win, maybe I'll even post my mom's awesome Norwegian meatball recipe. But sorry, my lefse recipe is still a secret--I'm holding on to it just in case some day I find a Lefse-Off to enter. Heh.

Here is a link to My Little Norway's post on what Bunads are.  Here's one more link to the voting post.

And THANK YOU!  Takk! Mange takk! Mange tusen takk!

Monday, April 19, 2010

In her blood

The paints were a BIG hit., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

I have been a musician since the day I was born. You couldn't stop me--I was always singing songs, making up my own lyrics, playing any instrument handy (including my own body), and even tapping out rhythms on my teeth so no one could hear (yes, my dentist yelled at me.) My dad's #1 rule (that he no longer remembers) was "NO SINGING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE."

Rowan loves to make music, too. So far, she's still kind of monotone, though she's still young, but her rhythm and ear are excellent. She identifies instruments like kids much older than she, and is already asking to learn to play the piano. Her first big hit was a song she wrote called "Broken Doors". Broken doors...are...broken. Broken tables... are... broken. The broken toy... is... broken. We have no idea where the inspiration for that one came from, but she sings it often.

Dr. B is musical, too, but has always been a visual artist. His mom tells stories of his complete and utter meltdown when the dragon he drew at age 9 had the scales going the wrong way, and how he simply had to be excused from class to sit in the hallway of the school and painstakingly erase and redraw every single scale. He won awards with his artwork through school, and still sketches when he needs to think.

We were invited for Easter dinner (her wife made lamb, NOM) at a dear friend's home. She happens to be an opera singer, and has a baby grand piano in her living room, as well as lots of animals to entertain us. Rowan was in heaven. She had also brought along her new watercolor paint and book set that came in her Easter basket, and insisted on trying them out after we finished eating.

We added the accessories. I think it's a good look for her.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dueling GPS

We had a free day today, so Rowan and I went to a nearby town to do a little shopping. Since we are a small town (despite the enormous college here), we don't have all the common stores, and sometimes it's worth a 45-minute trip to head out, just for a bit of fresh air.

I had decided a few months ago that it was time to get new dishes for the kitchen, because the ones we got for our wedding, nearly 14 years ago, had seen better days. Chipped I could deal with, even a few broken pieces, but when all of them started to show gray knife marks that couldn't be removed--well, it was time. I remember when my mother got her second set of stoneware--probably after about 20 years of marriage. She was so excited to have something new and different.  I scoured the internet for something we both would like, looked in all the local stores, and still couldn't find what I wanted. I had our phone rebate cards to spend, and nothing to spend them on.

Then I figured it out. I wanted something sort of Pier One-y. But of course, our Pier One closed last year.

So we headed to Altoona. I pulled off the highway, figuring it would be near all the other stores. Drove around for a while, no luck. So, using my smart phone, I pulled it up on the browser and punched in the address. It showed me the route, but none of the street signs matched the ones I saw, so I brought out the backup GPS. On that one, the address didn't exist.

So we drove around for over an hour, dueling GPS machines fighting it out in the cup holders, and me getting more and more frustrated. We stopped for directions. And a potty break. And ice cream. (Hey, DQ is just as good a place as any...) Asked a person, but of course she didn't know where it was either. Drove more. Stopped for gas. Rowan kept saying, "It's OK, Mommy! We'll find it!" She was a trooper.

Finally, I gave up.

Called the store. Found out they were near Walmart. (Of course.) Punched that in. Finally got there. (Only had to turn around twice.)  YAY! And found dishes I liked, at a decent price, and 8 place settings. (They aren't shown on the website.)

But no mugs.


Stopped at Kmart (we also don't have one of those, so I thought I'd check, just in case.) I stuck a salad plate in my purse, and we walked in, hoping. They didn't have enough of the solid color mugs I liked that matched, but these mod florals went with them and they had enough. I grabbed 8, and off we went. We snuck back into town with minutes to spare before my rehearsal, and Dr. B walked in the door as I walked out. As I ran out the door, I said, "do you like them?" "YES!"

It's a done deal. We have new dishes. They are NOT WHITE. I'm happy. The picture is kind of awful (from my phone, and at night), but it gives you an idea. They're a sort of ecru/taupe with earth tone stripes around the outside in espresso and a kind of rust/pink/orange/reddy color-ish. Sort of. The mugs are shown here. They match, and they're not too huge so your coffee gets cold.  Yay!

New stoneware. Yippee!!!

Now it's time to box up the old stuff for the church rummage sale, and finally cull all the unmatching and just plain ugly dishware we've collected over the years. I guess this is nesting for baby #2--when Mommy gets new stuff. :) Bonus!

Friday, April 09, 2010

10 Fingers

34 weeks, 6 days., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.
Sometimes, I feel enormous. Other times, I barely notice I'm pregnant. (That's usually when I'm vegging on the sofa and all crunched up under an afghan.) I get more tired, dizzy when I climb the stairs, and wake up often (to pee. Or because her father is snoring). As of 2 weeks ago, I'd gained 16.5 pounds (they don't tell me, I had to ask.) The baby weighs about 4 pounds now, though it feels like a lot more when I'm supporting my enormous bulge with my hands as we walk the dog up the hill to our house. Both Rowan and I are thankful for warmer weather, because our walk has shrunk from a mile and a half to a mile with a break in the middle on a grassy hill.

This pregnancy has been much easier on me than Rowan's. For one thing, I didn't tear my ACL, lock my knee and have to have surgery and physical therapy, nor were there the worries about the pain killers (and yes, I needed them. The pain was horrendous--much worse than labor). I was allowed to take Prilosec the whole time, so heartburn was a non-issue. I never barfed, and the morning sickness only lasted 10 days. And I guess I either knew what to expect, or after doing it once plus 17 months of breastfeeding, my body was more used to the wacky hormone surges.

Plus, we were here, where we are. Settled. No questions about the future, no worries about finding a job. And though I've heard others talk about their concerns about not loving a second child as much, I've had no feelings like this at all. The anxiety I felt when pregnant with Rowan has just been absent this time. It's been wonderful. The big leap from woman to mother was the hardest step--mother to two just seems natural. I am excited to meet my second daughter, and I can tell that the baby will be very different from her sister, unique in her own way. Dr. B is happy, and more relaxed about this one. I think he secretly is hoping that Bootsie will be a bit more like him. Rowan is so much like me, he jokes that I just budded. (Note, she has his bootie, his eyes, and many of his personality traits. She just looks like Mini-Me.) Rowan is so thrilled she can barely contain herself. I am blessed that her personality seems to be made to be an older sister--she loves having friends around, is very sweet, caring and thoughtful, and doesn't seem to struggle with jealousy. Yet, anyway.

Dr. B's grandmother Mitzi summed it up pretty well--"You have ten fingers on your hands. No matter which one you hurt, it hurts the same." They're all different, but they're all equally important, and they are all a part of you.

I am hoping this one is the part without colic. That would be good.

Friday, April 02, 2010

What not to put in a sippy cup

Rowan, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

"Mom, can you put something in my sippy cup?"

"Sure, honey. What do you want? Soymilk, juice or water?"

"Can I have FUZZ water?"

(She means carbonated water, which, by the way, is pretty hilarious when randomly squirting out of the sippy cup's nozzle.)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Help!!! Reliable freezer recipes needed ASAP

The baby's on the way. I am at 33 weeks, so the urge to nest is starting to kick in. No, my house is not spotless (as if), but I'm planning for the practicalities, borrowing a bassinet in preparation for Bootsie's arrival (planning on setting up the pack and play with bassinet and changing table downstairs--this came later last time but was very helpful.) Since this time I have 2 kids sharing one room, Boots is going to need to be with us for a bit (I'm hoping she isn't as loud of a sleeper as Rowan was.) Rowan is getting used to sleeping in the double bed in her room and plans have been made to reset up the crib, banishing her toddler bed to the attic for a while. I'm on the hunt for a new dresser to move Rowan's clothes into (found one I like, but am waiting on a friend who may have one due to some estates in her family that are being cleared out).  I'm researching strollers, because we pretty much wore ours out, but since the baby will be little, for the first few months she'll be in the Bjorn for walks anyway, so it's not pressing. The carseat is in the attic and can be used again, and I have boatloads of clothes. I do have the tabs to sew on the cloth diapers, but other than that, it's all little stuff to do. Except for painting the upstairs bathroom and our bedroom. But those are pipe dreams. If I can get the bathroom done, that would satisfy me. (For now. Ahem! Honey? You reading this?)

However, I do want to begin stocking my freezer with ready-to-go meals. A friend recommended this book, but our library's copy is lost. (Though now that I see the price, I may just order it. Gotta wait a bit though, because we are in the process of switching banks to a local one rather than a big corporate bank and I currently do not have easy access to funds except cash. And knowing our local Barnes and Noble, they'll charge 3 times what Amazon does. And they're both big corporations, so I have to stick it to at least one of the men by going with the cheap one.)

SO! This is where you come in. Do you have some reliable recipes that you make ahead and freeze that you can send me? I have a big, upright freezer, so have plenty of room. I'm looking for things that are healthy and easy, and am trying to avoid huge amounts of either dairy or tomato because of Rowan's lactose issues and my memories of her screams when I ate anything acidic while breastfeeding during the first months (seriously, one fry dipped in ketchup meant hours of crying.) I won't avoid them entirely, but if I can have some good alternatives that I can trust in there, that would be great. I have done some internet searches, but would loves some "I make this and my family loves it" recommendations--proven recipes are always the best. Please send thaw/bake directions, too! If you have links, great, if you want to email them to me, just look on my site for the email link (I think it's still there) or if you know me on Facebook, send it there.

And I'll get cooking! At soon as the shooting pains in my butt from the sciatica stop, anyway.
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