Saturday, July 31, 2010

Take My Breath Away

I had a few really cool Mom moments yesterday. The most profound began with me sorting laundry. Drowning in heaps of dirty and unfolded clean laundry, I was finally forced to tackle the issue, which I did in my master bedroom as my kids littered the floor with toys and toddler what-nots. While enjoying smelling underwear as a pre-requisite to sorting, I noticed my 11-month old daughter wander into our cavernous bathroom. She was already at the water closet when I called for her to come back. My two-year old son hearing this, dropped his toys, ran over to his sister, gingerly took her by the hand and led her back to me. He then ran back to the water closet, closed the door, returned to his toy and commenced play. I was astonished and oh so proud.

The second happened later that afternoon. My son ran over to his toy box and emptied it out, searching for his favorite trucks. Upon locating them, he ran to a far away corner to make sure he could play undisturbed. My daughter strolled over to the overturned toy box (which is plastic by the way), set it straight, sat down next to it, and one by one, placed each toy back inside. Either this is some developmental stage my son never reached, or she spends waaaaaaaaaaay too much time watching me clean up. Or perhaps this is instinctual and all little girls inately know that they have to clean up after the men in their lives. Too far? Won't be the first time. In any event, this is just another example of how much my daughter pays attention to what goes on around her and later emulates behavior.

And thirdly, while singing to my kids over dinner (a usual practice in our house when mac and cheese isn't on the menu and the poor substitute requires distraction to be edible), I noticed firmly that my daughter knows the cues for when to clap, when to say 'yay', and when to bob her head. There were signs before now, but almost overnight, subtle cues matured into definitive actions. As my husband would say 'our kids are prodigies'. But which parent doesn't think that?

Three very long paragraphs later, my point is this...yesterday was an awesome day to be a mom. My little munchkins took my breath aaaaaaway-aaaaayyyyy-aaaaaayyyyyy-aaaaaayyyyy. Too far again? Sorry.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Now my kids are "Foodies"

These days, my soon to be one-year old daughter eats whatever my two-year old son eats. Which, when the stars align, happen to be whatever my husband and I are eating. Ipso facto, a cook-one-meal day. Yay! Anyway, while they prefer the staples (rice, pasta, chicken, ham, breads), they love variety. So I try to get as creative with starches and meat as they'll let me. Luckily, pesto and any kind of cheese go a long way with my two.

Yesterday, while staring at the box of pinwheel pasta, racking my brain for yet some other pinwheel pasta combination, I spotted the leftover bottle of parmesan cheese and a still unopened cartoon of heavy cream (this thing had to be at least three months old, but still under the expiration date - what do they put in this stuff?!?) in the refrigerator. Somewhere a lightbulb went off and I whipped up pinwheel pasta in a bechamel sauce, accented with diced ham. My chickadees scarfed it down in no time. I figured this dish had to be really good, or really cheesy, or both.

After getting the kids down for a nap this afternoon, I ransacked through the refrigerated leftovers for my own lunch and come across, what else, my pasta creation. I heated up a bowl, turned on HGTV and got ready to enjoy a little quiet. Best hour ever. Seriously, that was the best pasta dish I've had in a while. Or I was just really hungry. But more likely a combination of the two. In any event, it finally hit me, when my kids are fussy with food, it's normally something I threw together in haste - always healthy and balanced, but not usually tasty. Think baked potatoes and burnt meat. Things they enjoy tend to require a more sophisticated palette. Think shrimp and mushroom over angel hair pasta. My kids are wannabe foodies. Great, should make their teen years all the more interesting.

If you're interested in trying it, here's the recipe:

Ingredients
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
diced ham
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup choice of pasta

Instructions
In a pasta pot, boil pasta until al dente.
1. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over light to medium heat, make a roux (equal parts butter and flour combined)
2. When smooth, add heavy cream
3. Add black pepper and ham
4. Toss in pasta
5. Enjoy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Four Day 24-hour Bug

My family is a tight knit group. So tight in fact, that when one of us gets sick, there is a domino effect until we're all sick. Thankfully this time, there was no overlap.

All too often, one of my kids will come back from daycare with a nasty bug. Last Saturday, my 11-month old daughter developed a 24-hour stomach bug. Poor thing had a horrible time. She was obviously in pain from stomach cramps and was understandably super clingly and whiney.

On Sunday, it was my two-year old son's turn. With him however, no amount of vomiting, diarrhoea or lack of food stops him from running amock for long. It's sort of inspiring how nothing keeps him down. He's a fighter.

Yesterday morning while getting ready for work, my husband suddenly fell ill and spent most of the day in bed. I love my husband, but even he admits he can be a big baby when he's not feeling well. Case in point, a conversation we had a little after noon yesterday. I'd just gotten both kids down for their afternoon nap. A most difficult feat as they were enjoying tearing the kitchen apart. I'd peaked in on my husband about a half hour earlier and he looked as if he were resting comfortably, so when I finally had a minute to myself, I used the opportunity to update our finances and deal with whatever long e-mail my Mom had sent that day. Then this...

Him: Babe, what are you doing?
Me: What do you mean? (I thought it was obvious what I was doing.)
Him: You didn't come to check on me.
Me: I thought you were sleeping.
Him: I wasn't sleeping. I was just lying down on the bed with my eyes closed.
Me: [Oooooooooook] Is there anything you need?
Him: No, but you didn't come to check on me.

So I got up from the computer, tucked my big baby in, told him how much I love him, then slipped out to continue getting some work done before one of our little monkeys woke up.

Then, this morning at exactly 4:45am, I awoke with godawful stomach cramps. After the obligatory trip to the toilet, I tried to nestle back under the covers and fall asleep. Uh-uh. Suddenly a wave of nausea washed over me and I made it as far as the sink before the previous night's dinner showed up. My darling husband hearing this, rushed over to comfort me and help me back into bed, where I spent most of the day. It's 10 hours later and I still feel like crap. The stomach cramps feel like the worst menstrual cycle ever. There are also muscle pains and of course the inability to keep anything down. But I can sit upright in bed typing this, so that has to be progress. At least I know it will be much better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Most Adorable Kids

I swear I have the most adorable kids. In the world. Really.

My husband and I are sticklers for routine. Especially when it comes to the kids. Right before bedtime, we all pray together, then kiss each other good night. I take one and my hubby takes the other and unplanned, though always in-sync, as we put our kids in the crib, we say 'I love you'.

Tonight, when my two-year old son reached over to kiss his 10-month old sister goodnight, he added "I love you'. My husband and I nearly melted. How sweet was that!!!

I tell you, no matter what kind of day I've had, even when it's my kids who've been stressing me out with their antics and failing to cooperate, there is always at least one moment like this to remind me how lucky I am. Wish I could have 10 more like 'em, but I digress.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bittersweet

What a rollercoaster week. To start, my kids were mid-recovery from some unknown bug probably contracted at daycare last week. (So unknown, every test known to man came back negative.) As girls often do, my daughter recovered first and was able to attend daycare this week. My son, who spends most days bullying his sister, missed her terribly. He kept asking where she was and if we could pick her up. Nearly broke my heart. But then he would do something he knew he shouldn't and the warm and tingly would vanish. Shoop! That is until he started feeling ill again and wanted me to hold him and rock him back to sleep. Poor thing.

On Wednesday however, we had the biggest high. My 10-month old daughter is walking!!! Yay! She beat her brother by nearly two months. Girls rule! Granted, my little tot's steps are generally motivated by food (once she spots something tasty, it's do or die till she gets it) or anger (big brother made me mad and I want Mommy now!), but still, an amazing feat. I'm so very proud of her.

Yesterday, my son was actually well enough to attend daycare, but I kept him one one more day kinda because I enjoyed the mommy and son time, and kinda because he did to. But really because he still had a little bit of a rash (leftover from the virus), it was in everyone's best interest to do so. In the afternoon, we visited a friend of mine, who invited us to pick peaches from her very heavy laden tree. My son totally enjoyed this experience. My friend's backyard is similar to a national park. It's about an acre and every square inch is planned and decorated with trees and ornamental plantings to the nines. To top it off, is a homemade swing in a back corner, which of course my son enjoyed. When it was time to leave, and collect my daughter from daycare, there was major resistance. In fact, my little boy, who only hours ago was nagging for his sister replied, 'no, don't get baby...too early'. Would have been cute if we weren't running so darn late.

All in all, we're happy and healthy and have two wonderful kids who fill our days with so much adventure and emotion, we could open a theme park. Ain't life grand?