My son with his hair sticking out

You Do What You Gotta Do

(I wrote this two days ago and it took this long to get it posted.)

It is plum hard to blog while a toddler, just shy of twenty months old, is awake.

Ditto when packing all one’s possessions into boxes and moving them across town, just to have to get them all out of the boxes and into some kind of order.

And it got sooooo crazy at the end of the packing. All of the boxes are scrambled – and the unpacking is not working out at all like I had hoped.

Sigh.

And do you know just how irritating it is when you thought your toddler was going to take a nap, to let you finally write! – and finally break this cycle of blog silence – but he just won’t?!

So you pack him into the car – in which instantly falls asleep – except now you have to waste this nap because you really need to run the couple of errands that you were going to do later after he woke up.  So now, out of sheer stubbornness, instead of going directly to your errands, you’re sitting in a taco restaurant (Panchero’s, which we used to frequent in Iowa City, how crazy is that? It’s not a very big restaurant chain but there’s one in this small Colorado town) typing on your laptop, while your toddler sleeps in his car seat in the booth across from you, because you don’t want to waste the precious time he’s asleep on errands, because you don’t want to give up the idea that today you are finally going to post something again, darn it! (Seriously, I haven’t taken my laptop out with me in months.) And then you notice you forgot to put your wedding bands back on after you put on lotion this morning. Ick! Don’t you hate that eerie feeling of having your bare ring finger out in public?

Whew! It’s been rough. It’s been rough because I really, really want to be blogging. But this boy is just so demanding of my time. I am not going to plop him in front of the TV just so I can blog. (Though it is tempting.) But man, I hate wasting his nap on errands when I could be using it for me time.

Yeah, so that’s where I’m at these days. If I’m not blogging, you know why.

Here is a picture I took this morning after breakfast.

My son with his hair sticking out

This happened to his hair all on its own. We put him into the stroller and went for a run and that’s what he looked like when we took him out. The picture does not do the hairdo justice. And do you know how difficult it is to get a toddler to pose for a photo now that he knows he can instantly see it on your camera phone? I have countless blurry photos of him running at me with a big grin on his face while I’m shouting “No! No! No! Stay there! Stay there!”

He is at a delightful age though. (Even if he sent me from calm and this-is-going-to-be-a-good-day-finally to irritated-beyond-belief when he popped up in his crib for the umpteenth time and I realized that my plans were going to be foiled again.) He is starting to try out more and more words, parroting back things that we say. Tim and I had a laugh-attack last night when I was asking him to say words, “Can you say mama? Can you say daddy? Can you say car-car? Can you say doggie? Can you say car keys? (He does, ever so cutely – with a velar fricative to make a linguist’s knees buckle.) Can you say coconut?”

And for coconut he suddenly made up a really convoluted sign with his hand. And he repeated it again and again while we asked him to say “coconut” while sharing a good belly laugh. Losing our breath a little – but trying to downplay it so he wouldn’t  get worried we were laughing at him.

I know it’s not funny, really, to anyone but us. (And you really had to be there.) But that bizarre invention of a sign, for no reason, from my child – that is the kind of moment that manages to ease the irritation of my day-to-day and the realization that I’ve given up all notion of free, or me-, time for the next decade or so.

Here are a couple more pics from our photo shoot today.

Another pic with his hair sticking out

Another pic of my son with this hair sticking out

One last pic of posing with his funny hair

Me standing in front of our new house

Home Ownership Starts off With a Bang! And a Letdown

Here is a cheesy-happy photo of me after we finally closed on our first house.

Me standing in front of our new houseThe day was pretty wild and dramatic – yet anti-climactic. Here are the events of that roller coaster ride.

As we were handing over our cashiers check to close the deal – it was discovered that we had made it out incorrectly and we had to run to the bank to print a new one. While doing that we got caught in a sudden, wild thunder storm (we’ve been in the middle of a drought for months). I dropped Tim off at the bank and began to drive around to induce sleep in a very tired baby. Suddenly the rain was pelting my windshield so bad I could barely see. I inched my way back to the bank and barely avoided a lightning bolt that came straight down like the hand of God onto the intersection I was turning into. The boom of thunder shook me senseless. I wish I had a photo of Tim’s face when he got back into the car.  He had been certain that the bank would loose power before they finished printing our check. We made our perilous way through the blinding rain, back to the title company as another insane bold of lighting came straight down out of the sky – onto what I was sure was the title company! We were laughing and joking maybe this is a sign that we shouldn’t buy this house! Nervous laughter.

When we got to the title company we had to figure out how get into the building while keeping the check dry and the baby sleeping. It was a blur of umbrellas (a stroke of luck that we had two in the back of the car from a recent trip), wind, rain, and soaking wet jeans. Once we were inside, we handed the check over and that was it. We now had an awakened and disoriented baby, wet clothes, and keys to our very first home!

But, the drama wasn’t over. My mother is also trying to buy her very first home in the same town as us, which means she’s doing from long distance. There was a deadline for her that day too, so we spent the next couple of hours talking back and forth between my sister and brother-in-law in Louisiana, mom in California, and us in Colorado, while the thunder and rain kept coming. Our realtor let us use take over his office so I could use the Internet in the storm and Tim graciously chased around our toddler while I handled this.

When it was finally finished and we got back in the car we were three tired, cranky people. It was the witching our between dinner and baby’s bedtime. By this time were too tired to even stop by the new house. But I persuaded Tim to pick up a pizza to eat on the floor in the dining room anyway. We had to christen our new home, right!?

Unfortunately, when we got there the power wasn’t on yet. This meant that our garage door opener didn’t work and we had to get out into the rain again. (Luckily we have a sweet circular drive so we were able to pull right up front).

Our sweet circular driveway

When we got inside, all of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms were going off at the same time.

Let me not be overly dramatic here:

It was hell.

But when it was all said and done and we returned to our rental that night, we were greeted with a giant double rainbow.

A giant double rainbow from my backyard

The end of the rainbow through the clouds

I’m still processing the feeling of being a new homeowner. We won’t get to officially move until next Saturday – and the past week and a half have been full of stress over the house mom might be buying, as well as trying to pack by myself with a toddler while Tim was working two weekends in a row.

I’m looking forward to the end of this limbo that I’m in. But if you bear with me, I swear I have lots of new posts planned for after I move. Yeah, I know you’ve heard that before. 😉 But I’m serious this time. I’m on the threshold of a new life of home-ownership and homemaking and I have lots to talk about.

Tim and Sebastian checking out the backyard

Tim and Sebastian each appreciating the finer points of the backyard.

Tim and Sebastian standing in front of the backyard fountain.

I think we're gonna like it here!

Scrambled Egg Enchiladas with Fruit

What We Ate – Mother’s Day Weekend Edition

Since I’m finding it impossible to keep up with blogging during this very demanding and needy stage that my son is currently in, I’m just going to have to do a few posts where I catch up on the meals I’ve wanted to share with you. Today, I’ll start by sharing some of the lovely vegetarian things we ate this weekend – my second Mother’s Day as a mom. Basically, these are just more examples of the delicious meals that my meat-eating husband cooks for me – I am truly feeling lucky and spoiled of late. (Please try to look past the quality of these photos. Right now this is the best I can do with my iPhone and the lighting in our house.)

Breakfast Egg Enchiladas

Scrambled Egg Enchiladas with Fruit

Yesterday morning Tim let me sleep in and got up with Sebastian. When I got up an hour later the coffee was made, and then Tim cooked scrambled egg enchiladas. He used a store bought, jarred sauce, and our opinion was that it was – meh. It needed more heat. We’ll have to tweak this meal, but didn’t it look pretty!

Easy Supper – Farro Salad, Veggie Chorizo, and Sauteed Greens

Farro Salad, Veggie Chorizo, and Sauteed GreensLast night was yet another example of Tim’s genius in the kitchen. He had bought a ton of greens at the local farmer’s market – mustard, turnip, kale, arugula…. While chatting with some of the people about greens, somebody mentioned that he loved to eat mustard greens with chorizo sausage, but that he couldn’t since his wife was vegetarian. Tim is not one to be deterred, so even though we’ve tried vegetarian chorizo in the past and it wasn’t that great, Tim remembered that there was still a brand we hadn’t tried. He picked up some up on the way home and sauteed them in olive oil. Chorizo and mustard greens is a great combo!

But the real genius of the meal was the farro salad. This was our first time trying this mostly whole grain (I guess it’s pearled, so part of it is removed or sanded down – I have to do more research into it) and Tim’s preparation was inspired. He tossed it with grated parmesan cheese, arugula, peas, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, which I couldn’t really taste. It was a very satisfying meal.

Mother’s Day Breakfast – Veggie Sausage Scramble

Veggie Sausage Scramble, Small Quesadilla, Honeydew Melon

Mother's Day Breakfast!

The not-so-great picture above, is of the breakfast that Tim made for me this morning (again, he got up early with Sebastian and let me sleep in – squee!): Scrambled eggs with veggie sausage (a different one, apple and fennel flavor, I think) and greens leftover from dinner last night (mild mustard greens and turnip greens, sautéed), with a small cheese quesadilla, and a slice of honeydew melon.

Mother’s Day Lunch – Farro Salad and Sardines

Farro Salad, Sardines, and Fruit

Mother's Day Lunch!

As I said, last night Tim made farro for the first time and it was a huge success. We are thrilled that it makes a great leftover lunch and we are going to start making bigger batches for Tim to pack in his lunch throughout the week. As for the sardines, I prefer smaller sardines, but these have a mild flavor and taste good if I just try not to look at them. I pretty much chopped them up with my fork and mixed them into my farro salad. It was like a very grown up tuna-noodle casserole.

And by the way, Sebastian is quite fond of sardines too! I can’t find the photo I took of the first time he ate a sardine, but here is another cheeky pic of him instead.

Sebastian Sticking His Tongue Out

As you can see, we’ve been eating a lot of eggs and veggie sausage lately. We’re actually trying to find some alternative proteins to that – but this is what you end up with when you have an open-minded meat-eater and a “pescotarian” that hates to cook.