Jan 31, 2009

It's Almost Feb? Wha?

I'm shocked it's almost February! Have any of you gone and looked at the Valentine's aisle at Target? Hello chocolate, hello cute heart stuff! I want the heart-shaped muffin cups, goodie bags with little owls on them...

This post isn't really about anything--just wanted to post some pictures because Wilder is so cute (as his mommy I've reserved all bragging rights) I can't stand it. Seriously, I cried about it today. There's just so much goodness he brings to my heart that it almost can't contain it all, so it comes out in joyful tears, I guess.

In the first two frames Wilder is playing with a photo of Shawn and I (and Wilder, while he's still in the womb)--it sits on his shelf in the nursery but for some reason they were in the bathroom looking at it.

In the third frame he's inspecting his orange light. He loves to scratch at the texture.

Fourth frame: showing off--biceps and drool!

Fifth frame: getting to know Daddy's Chucks

Jan 30, 2009

Oh my gosh...these are guuuuuddd...

A good ole entree here for ya, folks. In the past I've posted a variety of dessert recipes; that's where my confidence lies. Consulting Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious, I at last found Triumph in an entree. And I like the feeling.

Try 'em. They're easy (finally!) and really yum-O!

Chili Chicken Sandwiches

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
3 Tbsp chopped green onions
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp chili powder
4 hard rolls
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

~In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in the chicken, cheddar cheese, chilies, onions, and seasonings. Cut top fourths off of rolls; carefully hollow out bottoms, leaving 1/4-in shells (discard removed bread or save for another use). Fill bottom portions with chicken mixture; replace the tops.
~Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with cilantro. Yield: 4 servings
~Extra toppings: sliced avocados, tomatoes

Let me know if you try it and like it! Up the ante on the seasonings if you like really spicy. Recipe is mild as is.

Jan 29, 2009

Rubber Ducky, you're the one!

Wilder's still rockin' bath time! Enjoy!

Ornery? Who, me?

Sideways in his crib.

Jan 27, 2009

No, I would not like a wedgie

A few of my family members, whom I will mercifully allow to remain anonymous (you're welcome), have expressed their desperate need to see pictures of Wilder on a frequenter (not a word, I don't think) basis. I'm really feeling that if I do not heed their commands I will either:

a) get my nose pinched really hard like my sister used to do when we shared a room and I snored and she couldn't handle it and we had a kitty poster that was scary in the dark, or,

b) receive a wedgie like none other I've ever experienced. (how wedgies are different from wearing a thong every day, I am not sure)

In that neither of these options are really optimal {or
kind}, I have granted the folks' wishes. My apologies for the poor photo quality. Shawn has the Nikon 90% of the time so I'm left with the old camera...Wilder has captioned the pics for you.

Mommy put me in sunglasses for our walk because I have very sensitive eyes but then she edited the photo and now the coloring is weird. I, however, remain unfettered in my cuteness.

Mommy let me sit in the big boy rocking chair which she thinks is "mid-century retro" but that I will grow to abhor someday. What about trains and dinosaur stuff?
Mommy put me in a new onesie that is really for summer and she didn't even wash it straight out of the package!
But I am happy because she keeps my tummy full & reads me books. The same ones..over and over and over...

Worming my way thru books

Hurrah! I'm reading again.

I was on a short hiatus until I joined a local mom's group (glory to God I have stay-at-home mommy friends now!) and learned that in addition to all of their other activities, they meet to discuss books once a month. Our current read is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Boy, am I excited about this one! Chik lit it is not. And I'm proud of myself for branching out and trying something new. That's the beauty of being a part of a group that picks books outside our comfort zones...so far, it's been an absorbing read--hard to get away from it. I'm pulled to it like a magnet to my fridge. Anyone going to Utah and want to get me a state magnet? Just kidding--I don't have any state magnets--yet. Lastly, I'm enjoying being a little more invested in the story/intellectually challenged.

Prior to Time Traveler's, I read Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes. Not my favorite read, mainly because it was about grieving. Unusual in that I typically enjoy her stories...anyway, it was realistic and at times, humorous.

And prior to that, during my Nicholas Sparks phase, I read Nights in Rodanthe. Perhaps it was because this was the 5th Sparks book I'd read and I was getting a little bored, or maybe it just wasn't deep enough, but I didn't like it! I probably won't go see the movie, either.

What do you recommend I read next? Cooking 101?

p.s.--please keep praying for Cora!

Jan 23, 2009

Will you pray, please?

I was going to post my latest book report in that I've had some recent literary adventures, but was compelled to post something exceedingly more important after reading my friend, Julie's, blog. 

Julie has been a blessing to me, moreso than she probably knows. Her baby boy came into this world sooner than most babies do, and their family triumphed through that--giving God the glory for choosing that for them. Ori is healthy, beautiful, so loved. And so cute I want to kiss my computer screen when I see pictures of him. Or squish his cheeks at church; I don't want to freak him or Julie out, though!

Julie's friend Jessica watches Ori a few days a week. Recently, Jessica's daughter, Cora, went to the doctor for a check-up, when the doctors found an enlarged liver and a mass by her kidney (please see Julie's blog). Please band together with me to go to battle over little Cora. We praise God for every breath He gives her. We plead the blood of Jesus over Cora--for complete restored health. We ask, seek, knock. Lord, hold Cora in your hands; cradle her parents in your arms. We ask that you guide the doctors in their helping her. We are burdened for this child.

And Lord, open our eyes to the needs of others. Let us hear their cries. Show us how to share our loaves and fishes. Show us how to shed any semblance of our selves, so that all is left is You.

Jan 20, 2009

I got outpartied by a 5 1/2-month old.

...yep, Wilder outpartied me this weekend! We attended Shawn's college friend, Drew, and his bride-to-be, SG's engagement party. Wilder was the only baby there and was passed around from one fragrant person (I mean that in a good way; I always forget to wear perfume) to the next. He relished every minute of it and could have partied longer had his parents not become so tired!

We're thrilled for Drew and SG's wedding in June, and were honored to be a part of their celebration!
Wilder loves gnawing on his feet!

The cake was 1/2 red velv and 1/2 yellow--phenom!

BooBoo--Drew & SG's cat--I think she's oh, a million yrs old in Kitty yrs!

Surrogate auntie and uncle teaching Wild their wise ways

All of us

We got the hat to work on Wild! Here, daddy is teaching him about X-box games!

Yes, he is as scrumptious as you'd think. Aren't I nice to share?

Left foot, left foot, right foot, right, feet in the day and feet in the night! (Dr. Seuss)

Wild's 1st driving lesson

The sky's ablaze--a quick love note from our Maker

Jan 16, 2009

I did not need water to wash the dishes. My tears were enough.

I am ashamed of myself. I am a professed baker. Glucose chemist. Cocoa wizard. Cookie bedazzler. And I failed. Again. What is in Wichita's water? Ok, so I'm blaming this fiasco on the roller coaster that is the holiday season. My sister in law, Andrea, who is a Pampered Chef consultant (Ang, can I say that on here?), let my momma host a catalog party and even though there were a million things I wanted, I wasn't going to order. But I stumbled across the Festive Holiday Desserts cookbook and had to have it.

For one reason, and one reason only:

Candy Cane Brownie Lollipops!!!!

OMG!! (and I hate acronyms)
Aren't they adorable? I had visions of bringing these treats to Shawn's extended family Christmas. Everyone would ooh and ahh at my talents--I would be in confectioner's heaven. So on a lucky day, when Wilder slept more than usual, I gathered the ingredients together, lifted an excited "thank you for this opportunity" prayer to heaven, and made these:

My hopes of tucking these delightful yummies into foil muffin cups, wrapping them with cellophane, and tying them with a sparkly red ribbon were DASHED. STOMPED. RIDICULED. DEMEANED.Where did it all go wrong?

Several things. I used a deep 9X13 pan when it called for the Medium Sheet Pan, which is shallow. And you'd think I'd know how to successfully crush a bunch of candycanes in a Ziploc bag...I think it was location (of me and the bag). The first time I tried I was outside in sub-zero temperatures, whacking the bag on the pack patio (didn't want to wake Wild). The bag got a hole in it. It didn't get much better when I carried on in my lack of judgment by taking a new bag down to the basement...and pounding it against the concrete floor...this bag broke and pieces went flying ...such foibles led to an extreme depletion in my patience.

From the brownies not rounding right to the candy canes not sticking in to the brownies, to the chocolate not setting (photo #3), it was an all-around disaster. I actually cried. I called Shawn and cried. And I was mad. Really mad.

You bet your damndest I'll conquer this recipe. One day there will be a showdown. But I'm going to let myself heal first, simmer a little, before I regain the excitement. The passion. The wonder of a new recipe.

I hereby warn you to clothe yourselves with armor--get a little thick skin before entering the kitchen.

Heart of the home? We'll see.

Note: I couldn't find the recipe on the Pampered Chef's website, and really didn't feel like typing it out. Visit this blog for the recipe (no, I don't know the author of the blog, but thank God for Google). If you decide to make these and are successful (I have every faith in you), test out my mood prior to telling me, as I am a delicate flower.

Jan 15, 2009

I'm fired? Well, I came close.

I nearly fired myself. 

I mean, if this is my new job, I certainly deserved 5 or 6 demerits or stern talking-to’s yesterday, mainly because of my attitude. It may have all started with both Wilder and my senses being overly stimulated at play group. Think, banging drums, ringing toys, boisterous tots. I’m aware that this is what children do-heck, they were having fun and learning! But you’ve got to cut me some slack here, I’m new at this! Some days, I.just.feel.FRAZZLED!

I’ll spare you the details, but the day involved poo in places it doesn’t belong, pee on my clothes, and spit up on both Wild and I, where it usually is. There was also more crying than normal…In those moments, I flashed back to the comfort of my cubicle and the joy of immediate access to 4 different kinds of M&M’s. But in the next moment, Wilder smiled, showcasing his cavernous dimples, and reminded me why motherhood is so very special. So worth the unglamorous moments of furiously scrubbing away poo, running up and down the stairs to the basement for laundry, pinning back my greasy bangs so they won’t get in the way (note: glances in the mirror only warrant frustration—for I typically find there’s still zit cream on my face from the night prior, my hair is in rats, and I’ve yet to dig out a bra from the piles of laundry).

Amidst the frenzy-the demands-mothers enter a different place of glory, one that even we don't fully understand. Our moments of accomplishment come when we see our children smile, hear them laugh--when we know they feel safe and free. We don our invisible knee pads, spending a lot of time praying, kneeling over the tub, tying a shoe, wiping a nose, zipping a jacket, scrubbing the floor...

A mother’s assignment will take a lifetime to complete, and even then, the job will never be done. And with it there will be moments of sorrow, especially when we see our babies leave us for a life on their own. You do know we’re only borrowing our sons and daughters for a short time, right? We raise our children to love God, others, themselves. To believe in something worthwhile. To pursue their dreams and challenge themselves. Eventually, and against our every will, we have to share them with the world into which we brought them.

It is a privilege, though bittersweet, that no well-scripted report or diplomatically delivered oracle can match.

And who says I can’t have immediate access to 4 kinds of M&Ms? The grocery store is only down the street a ways. Hmmmm....

Jan 14, 2009

Nay, I tell you, the glass is, and will always be, half FULL!

SHAWN and I are very different people, you see. And this shouldn't sound peculiar in that more often than not, polar opposites tend to find one another.

And get married.

Lemme explain:

Shawn was born with the optimism bug. I mean, he's one of those people everyone loves and he's so positive all.the.time! {not that I'm complaining; I'm just jealous} In contrast, when considering, in the literal sense, the "glass is half full/empty" metaphor, I tended to first complain at the beverage in the glass (ugh, V8?), or to dislike the floral design at its rim, before I could answer, "half full" or "half empty."

But being married to Shawn over five years has allowed me to befriend optimism. I've learned how to successfully turn negative thoughts into positive ones, and it's rather catchy once one has done it for a while. I've come a long way and feel apt to pat myself on the back at this juncture, for if asked today, I will tell you the glass is half full!

I'm certain nature versus nurture had something to do with the way we turned out, but, lets leave that for the shrinks to hash out. All I know is my brain and I have a very strict relationship now, as it is to obey ME, and not the other way around. Instead of thinking, "wow, I really hate how this shower curtain sticks to my bum," I think, "how superbly wonderful that we have running water and therefore do not stink." Or, I'll trade this thought "this line is bloody long and I have places to go" with "thank God I have legs to stand and wait, and breath to let out a sigh."

So, if you're like me in this, what do you do to get the ole brain to succumb to your commands?

May our glasses, regardless of their contents or Corelle floral designs, frequently be clinking together--in celebration for all that we have/do/love/give!

Editor's Note: my apologies for poking fun at the above-pictured set of ivy glasses, especially if you own a set and subsequently based your entire kitchen "theme" off of it.

Jan 13, 2009

Wilder's First Try at Solids

WE gave Wilder a wee bit of rice cereal this weekend. I didn't think he would be quite ready, as he hasn't taken interest in our eating & hasn't figured out how to sit "properly" in the Bumbo. I was pretty much right--he liked chewing on the spoon, sucking his thumb, and leaning over his seat instead of eating! We were stoked to see him experience something new and are excited at his journey toward supplementing milk with solid foods. I wonder if I'll be one of those moms who has to "sample" some of the chicken-peas-taters and zingy apple purees just to "test the temperature"!!

By the way, Wild's 21 weeks old today! We went to our first Parents as Teachers playgroup, which I'm suspecting was sensory overload for him (um, me too); but he did well! Also, he's rolled over from back to tummy a couple of times, and loves chewing on his toes!

All done! Mommy's fingers taste better than rice!

Jan 10, 2009

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go!

SHS, Shawn's work, had a winter party at the Orpheum last night. It was as also a night for celebrating Joe's retirement. The food, music, & decor were Irish themed! What scrumptious, stinky cheeses and juicy meats (thanks to Blue Moon catering) we enjoyed. My favorite part was catching up with Liz and Juls~our boys are really close in age so we had ALOT to talk about.
I felt a little bit like a grown-up!

And, yes, Wilder was an angel for Shawn's parents!