Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On being a harried mother.

After typing that title I had to look up harried for fear that it did not mean what I intended it to mean.  It's pretty embarrassing to use a word thinking it means one thing but realizing the connotation is totally different.  i.e. the time I told people I was "infamous" for my mad dancing skills.  What I meant to say is I cut. a. rug.  Not, I'm well-known in a negative way for my dancing abilities, or lack thereof.  But I digress.

So the harried I am referring to is the disheveled, running from one place to another, forgetting essentials like extra diapers and um, food for my kid, because I've got a whole heck of a lot on my plate kind of disheveled.  You with me?

I've been uber busy at work and have had a lot of commitments in the evening.  It feels like the last two weeks have been run, run, run.  Yesterday I worked, picked up my bundle of joy, transported her across town, and left her with my dear and gracious friend (Lindy, I owe you BIG time) and went back to work. While 12 hour days are more my husband's speed, I have had more days like this than I care to think about.

With a marathon day like that, I sometimes feel a tad overwhelmed at the amount of items that must be packed, chilled and toted along from place to place.  Lake ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone else yesterday.  Her lunch bag was busting at the seams.

Like I said, not the norm but as of late, my life has been a bit crazy town.

So, if I think juggling one child and my schedule is insane, what will life look like with future children in the mix?  When I want to be whiny about the present state of busy, I remind myself that we originally dreamed up a mondo fam of four or five kiddies.  Can I handle life with that many school plays, sports nights, and PTA fundraisers?  Oh my goodness, at some point I might be packing and cooking for a small army.  I will be pumping milk for the next five or six years!

AND then I breathe into my paper bag, look in the mirror and tell myself: "you're pretty, you're smart, and gosh darn it people like you." and remember that I am getting a little ahead of myself here.  One day at a time.  One day at a time.

On a side note, but still related, I had a booger stuck in my hair most of the day yesterday.  If that's not a mark of the harried mother, I don't know what is.  BTW: I'm quite certain it was not mine.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We're celebrating Easter with my folks!  It's been a full weekend with lots of pics to come.  For now, here's baby girl ready for Easter service.

Hallelujah! He has risen!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sushi Nite at the Jaeger's

We have the BEST neighbors.  Seriously, we lucked out in that department.  Adam and Jess are around our age and they have a sweet little girl, Audrey, who is 15 months.  Read: Lakin's future bestie???  We get together every once and a while and make dinner as well as take rides in Audrey's pimped out Radio Flyer wagon and watch ridiculous YouTube videos.  Thank goodness our neighbors think stupid YouTube videos are hilarious.

About a week ago we wanted to show off our newly acquired Sushi making skills (aka S.M.S.)  that we picked up while in Seattle.  Adam, Jess, and Audrey joined us for some D-lish dinner and our friend, Colby, was also passing through on his way to Madison.  Don't let homemade sushi scare you, it's actually really easy.  Here's what you need:

Nori (which is sheets of dried seaweed) - we found ours at HyVee
Jasmine Rice
Rice Vinegar
Miracle Whip (I'll explain)
Fresh Fish
Cream Cheese

To prepare the rice wash your measured portion several times until the water drained runs clear.  Let the rice sit for 20 to 30 minutes and then pour into a pan with just enough water to cover the top of the rice.  Bring to a boil and continue until water has completely evaporated.  Use a wooden spoon to stir the rice as it is delicate and needs lots of soft, tender touches.  You will then add sugar and rice vinegar in proportion to the amount of rice you cooked.  We used this site as our reference.

While rice is cooking, slice your protein, cucumber and avocado into long, slender pieces.  You can see our avocado and chicken teriyaki (for the less adventurous sushi eater) on a platter above.  Those slices were actually a little too thick, next time, I'll try and cut them even thinner.

Once the rice is mixed and ready, spread some out on your piece of nori.  At the bottom edge of your nori, add your protein, cream cheese and veggies.  Drizzle the secret sauce on top of your open roll.  Secret sauce consists of miracle whip, Sriracha and lime juice.  Begin tight rolling the sushi.   The rice should keep it together nicely.  Use a sharp knife and gently cut it into pieces.

Jess putting together a ballin' sushi roll.
Lakin telling Colby something VERY important.  
Sweet father/daughter moment.
Lakin earned the name "Biggie Smalls" as she was looking large and in charge that night in her smarty pants tee.  She had some baby sushi rolls with rice and avocado and loved every last bite. 

There you have it.  Sushi in a few, easy steps.  Cue Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It."  

so big

we've mastered "so big"

Yeah, we're pretty much so big from the moment we wake to bedtime.  New trick = lots of repeats and clapping for self.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Motherhood is...

Motherhood is: Part 3

Have you fished poop out of a tub?
Have you found bits of chewed chicken in the cracks of your couch?
Have you unknowingly walked around for an entire afternoon with spit up dried down your back?
Are disposable wipes your best friend?
Can a bib always be found in your purse.

then you must be a mother

child raising is a messy venture
but bodily fluids and disintegrating food are easy in the grand scheme of things
there will come a day when the mess transforms
 from the physical to the spiritual or emotional:
broken hearts,
hurt feelings
true, gut wrenching loss or remorse
big life questions

i'll probably look back to the days
when my biggest stress was a single floating turd
but messy nonetheless

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

da das

Lakin's best friends are dogs (da das).  Which we're okay with, but still . . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa

My parents came to Columbia to see us.  Really, they came to see Lakin but I'll pretend they were interested in the pair of us.  It had been since Christmas when we last saw them and Lady has changed so much since then.  Here are some of my favorite photos of our quick meet up.

We're looking forward to their trip to Rochester to celebrate Easter!

We Like to Party

 Thank you, Target, for affordable stationary.  You da best.
 Word scramble mixer which led into a fierce war of the purses.
 Heck yeah, HyVee, well done.  Well done, indeed.
 Ze details...
 Wrapping paper makes a great splash of print and color without breaking the bank.  This was an idea inspired by friend, Nicole.
 Mary Kate, Lakin and Noelle- such stunning ladies!
 Sarah and Finley, love that baby hawk!
 Isn't my friend Megan beautiful and chic?  Anthropologie should have her model all their stuff.
 Jaw dropping, handmade quilt for dear Adelyn.  By far, the most impressive gift of the day.  I believe Kelsie's face says it all.
 Council and hosts: Carly, Polly, Yours Truly, Mary Kate.  Not Pictured: Bonnie, she couldn't make it home from Korea but was totally there in spirit.
Granny Janny and Momma Polly

I think we could start a business throwing showers.  This here party would be number six for our crew!  Beautiful day.  Beautiful Momma-to-be.  Wonderful to be with those you know and love.  Ah, such a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Motherhood is...

Motherhood is: Part 2
Being in Demand

"ma ma ma ma ma ma"
a new mantra anytime something is needed:
a toy just out of reach
wake up time
a soothing hug
a fresh diaper

being a mother means being in demand, 24/7
at times it's sweet and endearing
at others, it feels a smidge suffocating . . . 
but most of the time
it's sweet and endearing

Thursday, April 7, 2011

on the road again

Having just recovered from our last trip, the baby girl and I are headed to Columbia, Missouri, this weekend!  It's a seven and a half hour drive and we're leaving from work today and hoping to get in later this evening.  We've got a baby shower to throw for my dear friend, Polly!  She's expecting her little girl in June.

I'm also making a pit stop by my old school to see my former students.  The last time they saw me I was giant and awaiting Lake's arrival.  I think we might actually be surprising them with our presence.  I love surprises.

I miss Columbia.  Hopefully this short visit will satisfy my longing for this wonderful place.  Shakespeare's pizza, we coming to get you!

Mom and dad, see you tomorrow!

Just in case you were wondering, Chris is staying in Minnesota.  He's scheduled to work all weekend.  I promised to have a piece of pepper jack and pepperoni for him in his absence.  I'm generous like that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Noise Pop

Did you know Seattle is the breeding ground for wonderful musical artists?  Nirvana, Soundgarden, Sir Mix-A-Lot, all began in this rainy city.  Most recently we discovered noise pop and this fantastic duo, Sleigh Bells.  Go ahead, listen to it again.  It will get stuck in your head.  My favorite line: "Wonder what your boyfriend thinks about your braces."  This is probably the first and last time I might be ahead of the curve on the music scene.  I still listen to Celine Dion's Falling Into You album on repeat.  You're welcome.

Correction: My husband sweetly informed me that Sleigh Bells is not a Seattle band.  I simply heard about them in Seattle so you can naturally see how I would assume that they began there.  Logic was always one of my higher scores on aptitude tests.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just Call Me Campy McCamperson

Our family dabbled in a little overnight camping while out West.  If you've ever had a conversation with me about camping, you might be a little puzzled to hear that we did such a thing.  I HATE the idea of camping.  In fact, the first camping trip I took was a few summers ago with about 50 middle school kids.  While it had it's redeeming qualities, I can't say I was sold.  We woke up wet, there was always a tween coming in and out of the tent (with muddy shoes), and I couldn't get our boat to paddle forward which caused a chain reaction of fear and anxiety from my tiny fellow boat mates.  Those of you who were on that trip with me know it wasn't pretty.

Fast forward to our trip to Seattle and my adventurous husband's proposal to camp while on vacation.  Hmmm . . . sleeping outside, on the ground, in a tent, does not sound like a vacay to me.  But after some coaxing I agreed to go along for the one night we planned to camp.

We drove from Seattle to Portland and along the way hit up McDonald's twice.  Don't judge; we were still on vacation.  We also met up with friends, Ben and Liz, in Portland and enjoyed our first of two visits to the food trucks (think carnival without the rides).  Again, don't judge; it was vacation.

We made it to our campground just as dark was falling.  It was perfect timing, really.  After some tent improvising, we put baby girl to bed in her down sleeping bag, i.e., Chris' winter coat, and she fell fast asleep.  Nothing stops Monstie from getting her twelve hours.

We enjoyed some camping delicacies: grilled hotdogs wrapped in cinnamon rolls and breakfast tacos as well as a few roasted marshmallows and PBR.  We classy like that.

In the morning we tore down camp and headed a few miles to Multnomah Falls.  These waterfalls are breathtaking.  The foliage was straight out of a Lord of the Rings film and I quickly became entranced by the gorgeous scenery of Oregon.

All in all the trip was a success.  And yes, I'd even camp again.