Friday, April 22, 2011

my arms are aching or is it stinging from you biting me.  my eyes are swollen and burn from crying.  why, why, why, nolan do you bite your mommy?  it hurts my heart as much as it hurts my body.  today is not our best day.  but, in spite of all that.  i love you with all my heart.  just please, please stop biting me.  happy 14 months.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011: the year of the lost and broken things??

oh man, i really hope not.  but so far, it's not looking good.  here's our list as of april 20th, 2011:

1. sweet bread knife of brand new nice knife set from christmas: lost after nolan's bday party in the park (feb)
2. anthony's cellphone: shattered the park for nolan's bday (feb)
3. my makeup bag: lost on (super-fun) trip to the bay area (march)
4. nolan's favorite red wooden ball that goes with one of his favorite toys: hotel room in santa rosa?? (march)
5. xylophone that goes along with the red ball from number four: sharp piece sticking out after a hearty bang (?) during either the loading or unloading of checked bags on way home from bay area --southwest airlines...why i oughta! (march)
6. four sippy cups (two different brands): chewed through by nolan (jan-april)
7. giant pink mixing bowl (that prompted me to finally write this blog): later found in refrigerator...nice...i'm dumb (april)
8.yet another diamond out of my wedding ring: ugh...though still half in the setting...and under warranty (april)

i think that sums it up...i seriously hope we're done now.

oh!  i almost forgot (oddly, considering i'm typing...).  number 9. six keys off of our computer's keyboard: thank you, nolan.  one of these, i have managed to successfully fix (the spacebar...but, it still isn't perfect).  still missing: "v" and "b" and a few other less important keys...irritating.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

what in the world will i cook come summer?!

i love soup.  any form, really...brothy, creamy, stewy, chily (get it...chili...)...yum.  since i love it so, soup makes a (VERY) regular appearance in the weekly menu at our house.  thus far this has not been a problem as it has been fall, winter and early spring filled with chilly ('s version) days.  but, as spring is warming up and flying by, it is going to be summer before i know it.  then what?? 

over the past few weeks, i've made broccoli cheddar, potato leek (the revisited failure, revamped and yum), artichoke, beef barley, (i feel like i'm missing one) and tonight, quinoa chili.  i must say, they were all pretty darn tasty.  i may have got a little cheese crazy with the broccoli cheddar (i have a tendency to do that). the potato leek was decidedly better than the original recipe and i would describe it as yummy, but i'm still not sure i'd make it again.  beef barley = delish.  the artichoke one could be tweaked a bit, but all in all, good flavor.  tonight's = bomb.  yup, i just said "bomb" in "the the money..." anyone??  anyway, it was so good, that i wanted to share it!  i forgot to take pictures...doh!  but, worth making it and taking your own.  :)

this is originally a vegetarian recipe (well, i suppose vegan, really), but i decided to add ground turkey for a little more "umpf".  i also used chicken stock instead of veggie because i had it on hand and garnished it with a dollop of sour cream and some cheddar cheese (obviously not vegan garnishes...).  soooo good. 

oh...also, i should note, while some recipes claim to serve 8-10 people and actually serve four (or maybe we just eat gigantic portions in our house), this probably really does serve close to eight.  leftovers, here we come. 

oh...and one more thing - while delicious, the many veggies, quinoa and two kinds of beans combo could probably be used as some form of bio-fuel to propel an airplane from here to nyc, so...plan your schedule accordingly...if you know what i mean.  ;), quinoa chili - originally found on the picky palate blog

*one cup uncooked quinoa
*two tablespoons (maybe more...there are a lot of veggies!) grapeseed oil (she calls for extra virgin olive oil)
*one large onion, chopped
*five stalks of celery, chopped (i halved these lengthwise first)
*five carrots, peeled and sliced
*two bell peppers, one yellow, one orange, diced (her recipe calls for 5-6 sweet peppers...i couldn't find these, so i sub-ed...still yummy)
*one zucchini, quartered and sliced
*two yellow (like crookneck or whatever they're called...the small ones) squash, quartered and sliced
*four cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped...minced, whatever...
*32 oz of broth (i used chicken...but, you could use whatever you like or have around)
*two 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
*two cans of beans (i used one great northern white and one kidney.  her recipe calls for two cans white...i'm sure you could even sub black beans and healthy it up even more...)
*two tablespoons cumin
*1.5 tablespoons chili powder
*pinch of salt (coarse ground = better)
*one teaspoon lime juice
*one teaspoon hot sauce (which as i re-look over this recipe, i realize i forgot to put in.  oh well.)
*cilantro (which i also forgot until dinner was on the table, at which point i was much too lazy to do more chopping!)

here we go:

*cook quinoa.  combine one cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa with 1 1/4 cups of water or broth.  bring to a boil, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed.  set aside.
*brown meat until cooked through and set aside (if you're adding meat...i used one pound of ground dark turkey meat)
*heat oil in LARGE stock pot or dutch oven over med-high heat.  add onions, celery, carrots, zucchini, squash and peppers.  cook until softened (she says 5-8 minutes, i needed longer).
*add garlic and pinch of salt and cook another minute (or however long it takes you to open all the stuff to add next)
*add stock, tomatoes, beans, quinoa, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce (i left it out and it tasted just great...not sure baby would have handled it so well with the hot sauce...), lime juice, meat (optional...i guess we've probably covered that) and cilantro leaves
*simmer on low-ish until serving
*serve with whatever garnishes you like...avocado, salsa, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour name it!

enjoy!! case you're interested, here are the links the other recipes:

-broccoli cheddar from 101 cookbooks (the croutons are totally worth the moderate hassle of making them!)
-potato leek from my blog
-artichoke from simply recipes
-beef barley from taste of home

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

a plea for help...

april 12th, 2009, two years ago today, was the due date of our first born.  a little girl.  sofia.  sadly, we didn't make it to that due date...instead, she was stillborn at five months on december 7th, 2008.  her time in this world was much too short, but she helped lay so much of the groundwork for the lives that we currently lead and the for the way that we parent.  for that, we are eternally grateful.  (for the full story of our little angle, you can read "the story of sofia" - parts one and two in my blog archive- way back in september 2010.)

every april, as a reminder of her short, but amazing life, we walk.  as a way to share her love with the world, we walk.  as a way to raise money to help fight against that pain happening to other families, we walk.

this year is our third year walking in the march of dimes, march for babies here in los angeles.  the past two years combined, we have raised over $1100!  this year, we would love to push that total up over $1500.  it is because of the love and support of our wonderful family and friends that we have been successful in the past.  it is all of you that we are asking for help from once again.

according to the march of dimes, 1 in 8 babies is born too soon, with serious negative effects potentially lasting a lifetime and sadly, "more newborns die of premature birth than any other cause".  how does march of dimes help?  in short, the march of dimes champions the needs of moms and babies in our community and across the nation.  the money we raise for march for babies will support lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy that help babies get a healthy start.  our team web-page has more information on what the march of dimes works for.  it is an incredibly important cause, please help us help them!

if you feel that you are able, please go to our team page and donate.  if you are unable to donate financially, please send beautiful, positive energy and prayers (if you are a pray-er) for the peaceful rest of our little girl's soul and for health of the thousands of other babies born prematurely each year.  our web-page is:

pictures from our first year (2009)

 these are our shirts that we had made.  i designed the angel on the front.  the poem is one that we found...

 they sent all the "family teams" blank quilt squares...this was the one i decorated.

pictures from 2010
 my daddy joined us last year!  and it was noly's first year!

our little family at the quilt from 2009.  nolan was checking out sofia's quilt square out. :)

trunk diaper change...little guy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

my roller coaster of emotion at the la county recorder's office

on friday of this past week, nolan and i took a quick trip to the la county recorder's office to (finally) get his birth certificate.  i actually filled out the application (that was sent home with us from the hospital) some time last year...then a month ago, i actually wrote a check with the intention of sending it off in the mail.  that plan, however failed when i realized if i mailed it, i had to take it to a notary field trip.  i had no idea it would be a field trip with such a roller coaster of emotion! 

RELIEF: i had dreaded going, figuring it was going to be far away and we would have to wait in a big long line--dmv style.  instead, i was pleasantly surprised.  it took me maybe 20 minutes to get there and probably less than 10 minutes from the time i walked in the building to the time i returned to my car, birth certificate in hand!  the gal at the counter said it is normally much busier than it was, so we must have had luck on our side. (we also found free parking a short, sunny walk away!  nice!)

FEAR: we walked in the building and i had to go through security, which for some reason always makes me i'm hiding some knife that i don't know about or something...i know...weird.  made it through just fine, no stowaway knives and i didn't even have to take the baby out of the ergo...sweet! 

JOY: up the elevator to level six...recorder's office.  in the area just outside of the elevator there were two brides!  all gussied up in white dresses and flashy shoes taking pictures with their bridesmaids, family, etc.  at first, this struck me as odd...then i thought..."why odd?"  just because it is at the courthouse doesn't make it any less special!  after that brief confusion was sorted out, i felt like i was getting to participate in their weddings...and i got that warm all over, lovey-dovey feeling you get when you are in the presence of love and the beginning of a new life together.

REFLECTION: i continued on my way, through the doors and into line.  a sign above the window stated what types of business could be done there.  it read, "birth, marriage, death"...there it was, all on one sign, three of the most important things in life...quite possibly, the three most important.  it made me think of how much of a part of peoples' lives the lady behind the desk is.  i'm not sure she felt that way.  ;)

EXCITEMENT: i'm up.  i handed the lady our application and credit card (oddly, they don't take visa...weird.  discover, yes.  american expresss, yes.  visa, no...hmmm...), paid $19, signed the receipt and suddenly my baby was certifiably born (13.5 months after his first entry into the world).

HEARTBREAK: i thought it a good idea to step to the side and read it over to make sure everything was accurate.  then, my heart broke.  the very top of the certificate it says, "certificate of live birth".  i immediately thought of our sweet sofia and how we never were able to get her a birth certificate.  not 13.5 months late, not ever.  merely a certificate of death.  i held back my tears and walked out the door thankful for the life i was holding.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

screaming, screaming, and more screaming

last night, anthony, nolan and i went out for dinner.  as we were finishing up our meal, the screaming began.  at a table across the dining room sat two girls (women?  they looked like they were really young 20s) and two babes (young enough to be in highchairs, but i'd say older than one).  i believe only one of the little ones was upset, but, man...that kid was UP-SET!  so, what did the mama do? nothing.  not a thing.  ask the baby why he was so upset?  no.  ask the baby to please be quite while in the restaurant?  no.  try to distract him with something esle?  huh uh.  perhaps pick the baby up or take him out of the dining area?  nope.  even speak a word to the baby?  no!  both girls just sat there nearly half smiling, not saying a word...just eating there food and staring at the kid!  i was so irritated.  less at the whole, i'm-trying-to-eat-in-peace bit and more at the mama-baby interaction.

qualifications to the above story:
1. i have no idea what upset the boy in the first place
2. i do not know this boy or how he normally behaves
3. said restaurant was not the lobster, boa steakhouse or some other fancy was souplantation (known to you north-westerners as sweet tomatoes.  i tell you, when i don't feel good, all i want is there boring, homemade, delicious chicken noodle soup and their totally un-organic, super gnarly, drippy salad bar ranch dressing all over an iceberg lettuce salad)
4. i was going on 48 hours of a mastitis infection complete with fever, chills, headache and any other flu-like symptom you can think, my mood was probably not the best continue...

when we left (roughly five minutes into the screaming...i have no idea how much longer it went on) this poor little man was choking on his tears he was so sad.  i wanted so very badly to go over to her and say, "your child has been screaming and uncontrollably crying for five minutes now.  if you are trying to teach him something and that is how you feel it should be taught, well, i don't agree with you, but your parenting choices are yours to make...but, why don't you pick up your child? talk to your child? remove him from the situation?  if not for his sake then for the sake of all of those around you who are trying to eat!"  instead...i muttered under my breath and walked out totally upset by the situation.

now, before asking my next question, i should say, nolan was being incredibly sweet throughout dinner.  he was smiling and waiving at the surrounding people, eating quietly and not throwing anything.  we were incredibly grateful.  you see, we too have had a few angry baby meals out...when these have occurred, we have done the following: first, try to decipher why he his upset.  followed by trying to solve it or distract him,  combined with trying to talk to him about how it is not okay to yell at the dinner table, especially when we are out.  if all of that has failed, one of us gets up with him and removes him from the situation.  no, it is not super-fun to sit and wolf down food at the speed of light by yourself while your other half is walking around with the baby or walk around with the baby while your other half eats...unfortunately, that is a risk you take when you take a toddler out to eat.

so...what do you think?

a. i had ever right to be as upset, irritated, baffled, appalled, etc. as i was, but did the right thing by not overstepping my bounds and saying something to her

b. i was right in feeling as i did and should have said what i so badly wanted to say

c. i'm a horrible person, shouldn't have thought anything of it, and it is certainly a good thing i didn't say anything...and now you hate me.

d. other (please specify)