Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things to Do In the Car

Today I spent the day sticking bamboo shoots in my nail beds. Oh wait. I mean cleaning my house. So I spent the evening crocheting (finishing up a möbius wrap for my sis- need to mail it soon!) and then started back up on damnyouautocorrect. I LOVE THAT SITE! This one just cracked me up b/c it's something that I might say....for reals. Teehee!





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Laid Plans and All That

So, I planned my weekly menu yesterday counting on being fed tonight but, being the ravenous smart girl that I am, I planned for some sort of cheese heavy meal and ate dinner prior to going. Well, I ate a bowl of cereal, actually, just in case there was some delicious dessert that would be offered and I could snarf it down guilt-free. (FYI- I've been using rice milk in my cereal and I must admit I really really like it. It may be a challenge for me to go back to skim milk once Little Mister outgrows his allergy. Rice- it does a palate good.)

Well. The "food" offered? CHEESE AND CRACKERS! With some cream filled cookies to tempt the gourmands in attendance. Smart girl, indeed.

So, this means that we weren't able to eat dinner and I had to move up my plans for the Thai Basil Beef meal I was planning on cooking tomorrow. This happened to be the best decision EVER! That meal was DA BOMB and I don't usually say DA in real life unless I'm in a wool induced coma and am all, "DAAAAAAAA," with drool dripping down my chin.

We got home later than our usual dinner time and I was really afraid that Little Mister was not going to handle it well. He has his cranky time around 6:30/7pm if we don't nail his nighttime feeding just right and he had already fallen asleep in the car after sucking his poor little fists at the "party" until they were little bitty nubs. My poor poor hungry little nubby-handed boy.

FYI: I am totally blessed with my Little Mister. He is actually a really REALLY good baby. He only gets fussy when he's hungry, but if he's tired and hungry, he transforms into El Diablo. Takes after his mom in that respect. Because of that, I get VERY anxious if we are out anywhere during The Cranky Hour because he's such a happy little chap if I feed him right away and he will actually fall asleep by himself in his crib without fussing IF I time it just right. Well, at least that's been happening for the last few days. With his track record, that may very well change tomorrow. The only thing predictable about him is that he's unpredictable. So, as you can imagine, I was getting just a wee bit anxious the longer we stayed out tonight. Thankfully I didn't insult anyone we met (I hope) but I know I interrupted a few people while I tried to get Big Mister's attention as Little Mister's hand started disappearing down his gullet. ("Honey? I think we have to leave pretty soon." "Uh, Mister? it's almost time to go." "HEY! WE NEED TO GO NOW. Thank you. Teehee."

So, we finally get home and Big Mister is hungry so I start making the Thai Basil Beef meal since Little Mister was still asleep in his car seat. I was able to get a pot of water boiling and put the meat in the pan when the frightened, panicked cries of my sweet Little Diablo let me know that we would have to wait a little longer for dinner.

Well! Big Mister was way too hungry to wait for me to finish feeding our little guy, so I told him what to do- just follow the recipe and make the dinner. (He ran interference for me and changed Little Mister's diaper and put his pajamas on which gave me enough time to get the asparagus washed and trimmed, but not cut, so Big Mister had some prep work ahead of him.)

Now, just so you can understand the magnitude of this: Big Mister does not like cooking. DOES NOT. I would ask him to help me make a lasagna by grating the cheese for me, you know- thinking it would be all romantic and stuff. He ended up buying the cheese that was already sliced just to get out of it. The closest he gets to "helping" me in the kitchen is tasting the food for me for Quality Control. This is why his offer to help me cook our Valentine's Day meal is such a huge, romantic ordeal. It's a real big sacrifice on his part and I love him for it. (That being said, he does do the grilling. Must be a man thing.)

JUST SO YOU KNOW- as a testament to both how hungry My Mister was (although he doesn't transform to a murderous snarling creature from the underworld as I have been known to do), AND how very easy this meal was to prepare, HE COOKED OUR DINNER TONIGHT!!

DUDE!!!!

Granted, he did have to go back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom to ask me questions, but the fact remains that, when given enough motivation, My Mister can cook me dinner!!! DOES HE REALIZE THE POWER HE'S GIVEN ME?!?!

Thai Basil Beef...totally DA BOMB.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Menu

Alllllrighty then. So my menu planning is a day late, but it ends up being a good thing for me since I would have planned a meal for tomorrow night but found out today that we have a thing we have to attend at which they will be serving food. FREE FOOD. Oh yeah, baby. I’m all up in that bizniz. I don’t have to cook and it’s FREE. However, if it is free and full of cheese, I may very well become very cranky and make a terrible first impression on these people and that would be….not.good.captain.

I can just see it now- I’ll be tired and starving- already a recipe for disaster- and they’ll serve pizza and cheesecake and say nice things like, “So nice to meet you!” And I’ll reply, “Whatever, queer. This party blows and I hope you choke on your delicious pizza and gooey cheesy goodness. Loser.” And then My Mister will be ashamed and shout to the heavens, “WHY?! Why did I have to marry a cheese lover?? WHYYY???” while shaking his fists in despondence.

So, in other words, please pray that they have some dairy free foods for me because seeing My Mister shaking his fists in despondence may make me laugh and that won’t be good for our marriage since you should never laugh at your husband when he is despondent.

ANYwho… I’ll only be cooking twice this week, which is awesome. Although I do enjoy cooking, I also enjoy spending time with both my Misters while relaxing and letting the microwave do its magic, ya know?

Tonight we had leftovers from the Lecso I made on Saturday. We loved it! Definitely going into my regular rotation- thanks Kara! I used both red and green peppers, canned tomatoes, and ended up using brown rice instead of Jasmine since I ran out of Jasmine when I made the paella. For those of you who don’t think you’ll like brown rice, try making it with chicken or beef broth for some amazing flavor. Seriously- every time I make brown rice, My Mister always mentions how good it is. Give it a try! For those vegetarians out there, instead of chicken or beef broth, you should probably suck on some rocks because what good is life if you can’t eat dead animals? I’m already giving up the cow juice but it will be a cold day in hell before I give up the entire cow.

For Wednesday, I am going to try Thai Basil Beef with Rice Noodles from Cooking Light. (OH LOOK! A cow!) Looks promising and I have been in the mood for Asian food lately, so crossing my fingers that this will be a winner.

For Friday, I’m breaking out the slow cooker and making a beef pot roast. (MORE COW!) I’ll trim the fat and then season it with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic and brown it on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker. I’ll cut up some potatoes and add some baby carrots and sliced onions and then place the beef on top. Throw in a couple bay leaves and about 1/2C beef broth and set it on slow for ~6 hours. I’ll serve a side salad and some bread to sop up the juice. I’ll also make a packet of brown gravy…hopefully I can find them here. No added fat and VERY tasty.

I’m always on the lookout for some good crock pot recipes. Have any to share?? Also, I’m really looking for a good meatloaf recipe. I remember how my mom would make them when I was a kid but, even though she’s an amazing cook, meatloaf wasn’t one of my favorites. I’ve actually never made one since we’ve been married and I’d really like to give it a go. So, if you have a good meat loaf recipe, please let me know!!


Til next time....

Sunday Randomness

So my Weekly Meal Planning is going to be a day late since I didn't have time to get my menus ready. Ok, that's a lie. I had time but I actually spent the evening on DamnYouAutoCorrect and have been dying of laughter. Seriously- if you are having a bad day, just go to that website and I dare you to not feel better.


* Friday Fibre Friends was fun. I learned how to make felt out of wool roving using a wet felting technique. In all honesty, I'm not exactly sure what I would do with a piece of felt, but I'm very proud to say that, being the neurotic competitive quick learner that I am, I totally made my piece of useless felt faster than anyone else. OH YEAH! And, if my new Fibre Friends are now reading this, BOO YAH! If you're going to party with The Gege, you have to BRING IT! *touchdown dance*

Ahem.

I mean, that was fun, girls! We should totally do it again sometime!

* In exploring our new town yesterday, we found this little Fish-n-Chips joint which had some great traditional British Fish-n-Chips run by a Vietnamese family in the middle of Australia. My world has gotten bigger and smaller all at the same time. The best part was being schooled by their cute little 4-year old girl on how to speak Australian properly:

Girl: (eating fried egg with ketchup on it) Do you like egg?
Me: I sure do! You like it with ketchup?
Girl: It's tomato sauce
Me: Oh! Tomato sauce.
Girl: NO! *rolls eyes* To-MAH-to sauce.
Me: *dying of laughter*

(That's how Australians say ketchup- don't say you never learned anything on this blog!)

* I'm working on my Peppermint Hat pattern because it's been requested by one of my long-time readers. I'll hopefully have it ready in the next couple weeks. (Once I'm done, she will be testing the pattern for me- Thanks, Brooke!) I also noticed that an anonymous reader left a comment about my Holy Julie Newmar cat hat pattern and requested a video on how to do it, so that will be coming down the pike, too. Although, I think we shipped our video camera, so videos will have to wait until our stuff comes in. I can't believe how long it takes for things to get here! I mean, come on people!! 2011!!! Shouldn't we have that teleportation device working by now?!?

* I'm loving the daytime television out here. It's like I teleported back to 1992. Murder She Wrote (I LOOOOVE THIS SHOW! It's my all-time favorite. Not even kidding. Talk smack about J.B. Fletcher and I will cut you.), Animaniacs, Diagnosis Murder, Perfect Strangers (DANCE OF JOY, BALKI!) and my personal favorite, MacGyver. YUM. When we were younger, my sister thought I had the worst taste in men when I told her I had a crush on MacGyver. I thought that it was again proof that she was adopted until she pointed to the TV and said, "REALLY?? Him???" and I died laughing because we were watching COLUMBO at the time. Now, I'll admit that Columbo has that sexy lazy eye thing going on, but nothing can beat the MacGyver Mullet!!!  How she got the two mixed up, I'll never know, but I wasn't able to look at Peter Falk the same way again.

* I made the mistake of telling My Mister that I had a crush on MacGyver. Granted, I've told him that numerous times- like when we see MacGruber on SNL, or if we use duct tape, or if Columbo is on- but now he seems to get a wee bit jealous just because I told him I had to get off the phone with him because MacGyver was going to start. He actually turned the channel this weekend when he saw it was on but he turned it back when I threatened to rip his arm off pointed out there was nothing else on. Oh dear silly Mister! You're the only mullet...err I mean man...for me!

* Gotta go to bed now- My Mister Mullet is waiting for me. ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unicorn Farts

In my quest to start looking on the bright side of things (Egads! The Light! It burns!), I must admit that I am happy to be in the southern hemisphere at this time of year. While I love autumn- the crisp cool air, the gorgeous colors as the leaves turn- one thing I really missed this year was summer. I kinda was a huge, angry, depressed pregnant woman for the beginning of summer, and an emotionally unstable, freaked out, new mother for the second half. I didn't get to enjoy the sun and warmth and swimming pools and summer camp with the Middle School Youth Group, which was the first camp in 5 years I missed. (When I realized the first group of Middle Schoolers I had in my cabin are now in college, I felt REALLY REALLY OLD.)

However, now that I'm in the Land Down Under, I GET A DO OVER!!!  It's now spring and getting warmer as summer is quickly approaching. I get to enjoy the sun and warmth AND the really cool aquatic center here in town. I'm actually quite looking forward to taking Little Mister for swimming lessons. Granted, my Baby Huey is slightly on the large side so he'll either sink like a rock or float with all of his cute baby blubber. Either way, I'm hoping he'll be like his mom and dad and be an adept water baby.

Another good thing is that I received a special package today- an important package that will help me get back to a more familiar Normal. Oh yes, my friends. I received my sports bra in the mail today. Woot. (Not WOOT! just quite yet....baby steps, people! Baby steps!) Right before we left, I went to Nordstroms and got measured for a proper fitting nursing bra. Since I'm an odd size, I've not been able to find a proper fitting nursing bra at the regular stores, which may have contributed to my emotionally instability, but for sure contributed to my quadroboobs. After finding my proper size, which made me giggle in astonishment and text furiously to My Mister and my Sister, "YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!" and then I promptly fainted when I found out the price of a properly fitting nursing bra at Nordstroms. I may have mentioned once or twice before I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING. I am soooo not a shopper and thus, very much NOT the type of person who buys things at Nordstroms on a normal basis....or ever. I think my most expensive piece of undergarments was my sports bra from Walmart which set me back a whopping 10 bucks. Yeah. Not a shopper.

Anywho, once armed with my proper bra size, I really needed to find  a properly fitting sports bra since my Walmart brand specials were no longer able to contain my newly acquired boobage. So, for those of you who are also odd sizes, I really recommend www.herroom.com. I SO much prefer shopping online to an actual store. I spent the same amount on my sports bra as I did with my Nordstroms bra; however, since I bought it online, it was like pretend money since real money can't go through phone lines. Sillies.

ANYwho, now that I have my properly fitting sports bra, I can now start exercising again, and that, my friends, is a very good thing. The unicorn farts are coming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just So You Know

I was talking to my sister today which is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. She is quite a talker and is quite possibly the funniest and wittiest girl I’ve ever known. She has the ability to be entertaining without being annoying and she has the best superpower ever- she can totally put a person down hardcore and yet still have people laugh and love her. I don’t know how she does it- I make fun of someone’s hair and people call me mean. She does it and they love her, buy her things, and make her queen. It’s the most awesome ability and I’m quite jealous about it. (For those of you who read my blog and know my sister- am I right or am I right?? Oh forget it- you’re the ones who made her queen- of course you’ll agree she’s awesome.)

One of the hardest parts of this move for me was that I couldn’t stuff her in one of my luggages and bring her with me. I do miss her so! Thank the Lord for Skype since we’re able to text and talk to each other regularly. And now that we finally have our internet service hooked up, we can do video Skype, as well! Yay! Although, it’s usually during the afternoon for her and bright and early for me which means she’s looking all kinds of beautiful and I’m a bed-headed bedraggled mess. There was an episode of The Jetsons where Jane Jetson talks to her friend bright and early in the morning and says, “I need to put on my face,” and she pulls out this mask which conforms perfectly to her face transforming her from a morning mess to Beautiful Jane Jetson. Yeah. I so need one of those.

So my Sister tells me she read my blog yesterday and it made her laugh (especially since she knows my cat) and that apparently folks at our church have been reading it, too. (HELLO ALL! I MISS YOU!) So they ask her how we’re doing out here- if we like it and are adjusting well- and she tells them, “Yeah! They’re doing great and loving it!” But, since they’ve been reading my blog, they give her this look like, “Uhhh…you haven’t been reading your sister’s blog, have you.” Then she apologetically tells them, “Even though she’s been a Debbie Downer lately, they really are doing well. I think.”

Ooof. Debbie Downer. Not good, captain. And to think I've never once mentioned Feline AIDS!

Hey- I’m not going to lie. It’s been tough getting here and adjusting hasn’t been the easiest for me, but I know a big part of that is my fault. Well, a big part of that is the fact that I was 2 months post-partum and still reeling from all the hormonal ups and downs while dealing with a huge international move- JUST SO YOU KNOW- and that wasn’t easy. But, another big part is the fact that I was being a lot like Lot’s Wife (from Genesis in the Bible- she’s the one that got turned into a pillar of salt) and kept wanting to look back at what I was going to miss rather than looking ahead at all the adventures in store.

Being the natural optimist that I am, I know you really can’t live life like that. Yes- I had a fabulous life with a great job, wonderful house, and awesome friends and family (and access to millions of yarn stores….just saying), but, truthfully, I still have those friends and family, I get a new shot at keeping a house organized (HAHAHAHAHAHA!), and I get to live in Australia! I’ve always wanted to live in Australia- ever since I was a little girl and saw The Man from Snowy River and thought, “Dang- if they have men like that out there, SIGN ME UP!” (Btw, Sis- still looking for your Aussie. I told Big Mister I was going to be checking out the men at church last weekend [didn't specify for whom] and he gave me a stink eye, especially when I told him he needed to help me.  Also, for MsEdwards, still looking for your more mature Keith Urban, too.)

As things are settling down for me, I’m starting to look ahead at the possibilities out here. I’ve already gotten connected with the local arts center and have my Friday Fibre Friends group (which I knew would be an anchor for me during this time- never underestimate the power of yarn!) and now that I have a vehicle, I’m able to go out and get to know my new town (and hopefully NOT the local lawmen anymore). Although, honestly, I’m really relishing the days where I don’t have anything to do and can just snuggle with Little Mister. He’s now figured out that if he can break his concentration from all the eating (he is a VERY serious eater), he can look up and SURPRISE! There’s mommy! And he smiles and coos and flirts and oh.my.lanta- I’m actually tearing up just thinking about it. So, I’m getting plenty of cuddling time rather than exploring time and I’m VERY happy about that.

I’m just trying to find my new normal and with so many changes that have occurred all at once, it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world. And, honestly, my neurotic insecurities as a new mother would have been a reality no matter where I lived. However, I do have My Mister (who has been so wonderful through all this! If it wasn’t for his organizational skills and levelheadedness, we’d be living in a van down by the river right now) and we have our family all safe and sound. (Seeing Big Mister love on Little Mister has been the most awesome thing. He's the one who got him to laugh the other day! I have a great husband who is an amazing father, as well.) Besides, like I said-I am a natural optimist. Sooner or later the sun will shine and the unicorns will fart rainbows again. So, all things considered, I’m doing…all right. Things are looking up. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One of Those Days

A warning from My Mister: This is the longest post IN THE WORLD!

So, this lack of sleep thing is really starting to take its toll on me. I really wish I could get more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a stretch and….no. That’s it. MORE SLEEP PLEASE. I’ve been putting Little Mister in his crib after his first night feeding around 8pm and he’s been sleeping around 4 hours before needing to eat again. Now, this would be awesome if I actually went to sleep at 8pm to take advantage of those wonderful, glorious 4 hours. But, you see, those are 4 hours where I can be baby free and actually do things like BE WITHOUT A BABY for a few hours. So, I’ve been going to sleep around 11pm. That means 1 hour, 2 if I’m lucky, of sleep before he starts waking up again to eat. Dear Lord can that boy eat. And poop. Did I mention the poop? (Which, for the last 2 days has been a dark green and has been freaking me out once again. Yes, I’m doing research and it seems like it could be foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, which makes sense since he went from eating every 30 minutes to every 2 hours which means OH.MY.LANTA MY BOOBLIES ARE FULL.)

Once he wakes up to eat, he then eats every two hours until 4am at which time he eats (snacks, really) EVERY FREAKIN’ HOUR. Thus he’s back in bed with us which means the whole putting-him-in-his-crib-so-we-can-have-the-bed-to-ourselves thing isn’t working the way we were hoping it would. THUS, my brain is NOT working to its optimal capacity which, as I found out yesterday, REALLY REALLY SUCKS.

Let me back up a bit…. This weekend was the first weekend since arriving in Oz where our family is complete. We’ve been missing our little girl since she’s been in quarantine for the past month. I was so concerned for her since she is old, arthritic, and quite possibly possessed by Lucifer himself when in the presence of a vet.

Our darling little girl finally arrived home safely on Saturday and I was hoping to bring her straight home so we could conduct an exorcism she could de-stress from all she’s been through in the past month. Unfortunately, due to a urinary tract disorder she has to eat a special food that you can only get at a vet, and, as I found out on Friday, the local vet won’t just sell me a bag- they need to see her first since it’s a special food. Argh. I warned them about her special…uhh…personality quirk…but they still insisted they needed to see her prior to selling me some food. Ok, bub. It’s your funeral. So we headed to the vet straight from the airport.

Well, due to a lack of communication on their part (the turd heads didn’t tell me they charge an extra $30 for a Saturday visit), I opted to take her Monday. The thing about this decision is, Big Mister was with me on Saturday and Little Mister was well fed and sleeping so seeing the vet with our demonic spawn wasn’t going to be such a horrifying ordeal, especially since she was already safely in her cage from the plane trip and I didn’t have to wear my garlic and crucifix so I could wrangle her in there as her arthritic hips rotate like pinwheels made of sharp talons as she releases the deep throated YROOOWOOWWWWWWL call to her underlord master.

I set her appointment for early afternoon, giving myself 2 hours from my much needed chiropractic appointment to get in, get adjusted, get back home, pick her up, and then get to the vet. Factoring in a hungry baby? Nope. Didn’t do that. (That’s called foreshadowing, FYI.)

SO. Due to a rather unfortunate lapse in my New Mother Superpowers (WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME NOW???), I slept in with Little Mister trying to squeeze as much brain power as I could in those 1 hour chunks. Not only did it NOT boost my cranial capacity, but it also left me with only 30 minutes to get us both ready to make it to my chrio appointment. I’m still not exactly sure what the heck happened in those 30 minutes- I have vague memories of boobs and poopy diapers but curiously none of toothbrushes- but we somehow made it in the car and were barreling down the road in record time.

Now, it’s tough enough driving on the wrong side of the road when I’m well rested and not running late for an appointment; when I’m bleary eyed and not exactly sure when was the last time I shaved my legs and wishing I wasn’t wearing shorts and hoping beyond hope that I put on deodorant so that this new chiropractor wouldn’t have to put on toxic waste gloves to adequately adjust my poor crooked back, let’s just say driving on the right side of the road would have been a challenge. So, it really shouldn’t have come as such a huge shock when, after I blew past yet another non-descript white SUV (heck, even my car is a non-descript white SUV), it just so happened to be a non-descript white SUV with flashing lights and a siren. (Note to Little Mister: This was a lesson in things you should not do. You should not drive over the speed limit EVER but especially when you are in a foreign country and unsure of which side of the road you should pull over when chased by a cop. You should also never be chased by a cop. You should also never use those words you heard your mommy shout. And you should never leave the house without an extra pair of undies because you never know when you may soil them as you are breaking the law and cursing like a sailor.)

After quickly assessing whether or not my boobage would counteract my lack of grooming enough to get out of a ticket (why oh why didn’t I put on mascara at least? Or brush my teeth??), I resigned to my fate knowing I’d have some ‘splainin’ to do to My Mister when we got the arrest notice in the mail. After informing me that I was going 100 in an 80 zone (it sounds so much more impressive in miles than kilometers), the cop, whether because my boobage worked or because he could smell the stench of rabid desperation of an unbathed new mother running late, let me off with just a warning which made me think that this day was not going to be as bad as I first thought it was. Yeah. Optimism is stupid.

When we finally made it to the chiro and were only 15 minutes late, which is practically on-time in New Mommy Time Zone- I quickly shoved a piece of gum in my mouth and breathlessly let the receptionist know how sorry I was for being late but then the room became a little dim when she told me, “That’s ok- your appointment is actually in an hour.”

ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?!

I had to reschedule since I had an appointment for my darling demonic cat at the stupid turd head new vet, so my poor crooked back remains poor and crooked still.

As we headed back home, I noticed a semi in front of me (in the left lane) with his left blinker on but thought it was just a silly Australian driving with his blinker on since he was pulling into the right lane. So we continued on, my lead foot helping us to pass on the left side when OH MY GOD WE’RE GOING TO DIE!!! You know how in the US the semis have a sign that says, “WARNING: WIDE RIGHT TURNS”? Well, in Australia, THEY DRIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD which means a semi with a left blinker pulling into the right lane IS GOING TO SMASH US DEAD!

After slamming on my brakes and once again educating my son on what words he should not say (EVER, Little Mister!!), I jump started my heart, thanked the Lord there were no cars behind us, and shakily made it home safely.

The one bright spot in this scenario (there I go with that optimism again), was that I got to feed Little Mister prior to going to the vet. Yeah. Well. If he only could stay full for any amount of time, I’m sure this bright spot would have been really really swell.

So as to not have a repeat of my morning, I got my garlic and crucifix ready with 30 minutes to spare and started hunting for my cat. Surprisingly, she actually got into her cage very easily. After wondering if there was a newly possessed herd of swine nearby, I took advantage of my good fortune and quickly locked her up and sprinkled her with holy water. Now it was time to put Little Mister in his car seat so we could get a move on. Well. He was peacefully sleeping and had no intention of peacefully waking up. HE WAS THE HERD OF SWINE.

He started wailing as I put him in the car which unfortunately clued in my cat that EVERYONE MUST DIE so she also starts up with her YYRROOOOOOOWWWWLLLLs. I jump in the car and start singing “JESUS LOVES ME” at the top of my lungs and praying that the moving vehicle would lull Little Mister back to sleep. Thank the Lord- my prayer was answered!

We finally made it to the vet and thankfully did not have long to wait before the vet called us back. (A really sweet vet who had just moved here 3 weeks ago, so she was not one of the Turd Heads.) I warned her about my cat and offered her my crucifix, but she wisely let me handle Little Beezelbub while she gently felt her tummy and listened to her heart.

Vet: “Oh, how sweet- she’s purring.” *pause* “And growling.”

The appointment didn’t take too long, but it was long enough for Little Mister to realize he was no longer in a moving vehicle AND WHY IS THERE NO BOOBY IN MY MOUTH??

I quickly wrangle the both of them back in the car and started heading home, but in a moment of sleep deprived lunacy, decide that since the vet is so close to the Post Office, I should probably stop by and quickly get the mail, especially since we are expecting a box. I get my mail and see there is no notice that we have any boxes, which is just as well since I don’t know how much longer I have before all hell breaks loose. As I’m leaving, a man I have never met before calls me from behind the counter and says, “Wait! We have some boxes for you. A LOT of boxes. Let me get a dolly and wheel them out to you.”

REALLY????

We had 3 HUGE boxes and 5 smaller boxes to load Jenga style in my car as Little Mister starts crying again. The strange man tries making small talk about babies and I was biting my tongue so hard so I wouldn’t yell, “SHUT IT, STRANGE MAN OR I WILL SIC MY DEMONIC CAT ON YOU!”

We are finally on the road home and I’m hoping beyond hope that there are no flashing lights and sirens behind me because, thanks to our loot, I cannot see anything out of my rear view window. And then Little Mister chimes in. WAAAAAAAAAAAH! And then Little Girl starts harmonizing, “YYYRRROOOOWWWWWWL!!!” So I just say, to heck with it and join them in the chorus. WHHHYYYY MEEE?????

I got them in the house which instantly calmed my cat but had no effect on Little Mister, so I plopped him on the bed and nursed him to sleep. Blissful sleep. How I miss thee.

Once he was asleep, I got the boxes out of the car and started opening them. It was like Christmas! Q-Tip brand q-tips! Bounty brand paper towels! A new book! A new food scale! WAIT. What was that one? OH CRAP. That must be the Christmas gift Big Mister was telling me he bought for me when he said, “DO NOT open a box from Best Buy that is addressed to me!” and now I JUST RUINED CHRISTMAS.

Actual reaction when Big Mister saw the open box:

Mr: Why did you open it?? It was addressed to me! YOU ARE A CHRISTMAS RUINER! 


Me: YYYYRRRROOOOOOWWWWLLLLL!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly Menu

Alright, y’all. Here’s my first installment of my weekly menu plan. The meals I planned are dairy free (except one has feta, which is a goat cheese, but I won’t put it in my food since it’s best to avoid ALL cheese including goat cheese and cheesy tootsies, but that’s another post altogether) and actually are all part of my regular rotation, except for one which is my wildcard meal- I’ll make it if we don’t go out to eat that night.

Since it’s Sunday night for me, I’ve already made this first meal. It’s one of our absolute favorites and is actually one that Big Mister chose for us to make for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. We loved it so much, I make it probably once a month. We also have made it for Valentine’s Day at least one other time because it is that good. I usually have the main ingredients in stock and just buy the fresh herbs the day I cook it. I may plant some fresh herbs while I’m here since I couldn’t find fresh oregano today and had to use some that was bottled. It came out alright, but, like underwear, fresh is always best.

It’s Lamb Chops made with a Greek Wet Rub from Cooking Light paired with Pine Nut and Lemon Orzo. I’ll sometimes make a salad to go with it made with mixed greens, prosciutto (sometimes sautéed, sometimes not) and goat cheese with a red wine vinegar dressing (about 1/4C red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and drizzle enough olive oil to emulsify, which is around 2Tbs.) For Valentine’s Day, we made this Grill Tuna with White Bean and Charred Onion salad (also Cooking Light) to go with it (SOOO GOOD!) and one year we made Fried Calamari with Peperoncini Mayonnaise (from Epicurious and quite honestly THE BEST calamari we’ve ever had. EVER.). All of these recipes are super easy and the outcome is phenomenal.

Many times I alter recipes the more often I make them. I would say this is one of the only exceptions. If you do make this, I highly encourage you to use the pine nuts with the orzo and do not substitute a different nut. Depending on where you live, they may be a little pricey, but oh so worth it! If you live in New Mexico, you can actually go out at this time of year and pick them fresh from the trees. We used to do that all the time when we were growing up. My mom tells me that the first time they took me piñon picking, they set me under a tree by myself and let me fill up my own bucket. When they came back to check on me, they were highly amused to see that I had my bucket very nearly filled to the brim with deer turds. I honestly don’t know if I had sampled my harvest prior to their arrival, but if I had, it would explain so very much.

Pinon

NOT pinon. But still tasty.

ANYwho…I will make some more lamb chops Monday night to go with the leftover orzo. Sometimes we’ll eat a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket with the leftover orzo, but lamb chops are very good and are actually fairly inexpensive here.

For Tuesday (and for leftovers on Wednesday), I’m going to make Quick Chicken and Chorizo Paella from Epicurious. This is another one of our favorites and another that I make probably once a month. I bought a paella pan when we visited Spain a few years ago and encourage you to get one if you can. Paella is great one-pan, complete meal with so many variations to try. If you don’t have a paella pan, just use a large pan which will work just fine. This is a recipe I made for Lyteyz and her husband when we had a couple’s night. They loved it so much, it’s now part of their normal rotation, as well!

To cut cooking time, I’ll use a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. If I have saffron, I’ll use it. If not, it’s not a big deal.

If you live near a Wegman’s grocery store, they have a really good spicy chorizo and, like a healthy marriage, a really good spicy chorizo is the key to success! If you can, get one that has been imported from Spain- it’s REALLY WORTH IT. A chorizo- not husband. Although, those Spanish men…whoooo! *fanning self*

GETTING BACK ON TRACK HERE….I do not use oil to sauté the chorizo since it has plenty of fat in it already. Actually, depending on the chorizo, sometimes I’m able to remove the majority of the fat globules prior to cooking to lower the fat and calories of this meal. And, yes, I know that this paragraph may have a whole different meaning because of that previous paragraph. BUT GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER!

Ahem.

For Thursday (and possibly leftovers Friday) I’m making another favorite from Cooking Light. It’s their Greek Pasta Salad and it’s one that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. While the pasta is cooking, I get the vegetables ready. This whole meal takes around 20 minutes to make. Sooooo good and soooo easy!!

I usually use Ken’s Light Caeser dressing (not the creamy one) but I’m trying a different Aussie one down here. Hopefully it’ll be as good as we are used to! Also, I use frozen, tailless shrimp instead of fresh to cut down cooking time. I’ll drain the pasta over the shrimp to both cool the pasta and defrost the shrimp. I actually don’t use the sundried tomatoes since I didn’t have them on hand the first time I made it and I liked the outcome. I also use green, pimento stuffed olives rather than kalamata simply because My Mister prefers the green ones. I’ve tried the recipe with the kalamata and must admit I prefer the green ones in this recipe.

WARNING: Because of the onion, shrimp, and feta, your breath WILL BE RANK. So, if you want the full course and not just a nibble of the chorizo, make sure your mister eats some, too.

The wildcard meal is for Saturday. It's actually from Picardy Third who is in Hungary (and who, after reading her blog I just realized is a friend of mine from our church in Virginia. HI KARA!) who shared this link in the comments the other day. It's called Lesco and looks really good! I'm going to pair it with Jasmine rice (because I like Jasmine better than regular white rice) and some Australian sausage (I'M BEING SERIOUS HERE! Dirty birdies!) since I couldn't find Hungarian. If we end up eating out Saturday, I'll make it Sunday, instead.

And that, my friends, is my plan for my dairy free week. Let me know if you try these recipes! And, please do pass on any dairy free recipes you enjoy, as well!

Friday, October 14, 2011

There's A First Time For Everything

Today is Friday, so that means I got to join my new friends (the ones who cannot spell) at the Friday Fibre Friends’ meeting. It’s supposed to last from 9am to 11am and so I, like any good girl who is part of the American Collective, dutifully showed up at 9am the first time I attended. (Those of you who know me in real life are probably surprised that I actually made it on-time. Hey- this wasn’t something silly like work- it was an Important Yarn Event. So shut it.) At that hour- the hour the Important Yarn Event was advertised to begin- the only people in attendance were Little Mister and I, and another American. Oh great. I yanked my still sleepy baby out of his peaceful slumber, changed him out of his cute koala pajamas and changed his diaper so quickly- too quickly- that his next wet diaper had baby skid marks on it, all so that I could meet another American. What’s the point of moving to a cool country like Australia, where they have cool accents and animals the size of my pinky nail that can kill you, just to meet one person who enjoys “fibre” and that person is American?? And why would she spell it “fibre”???

Just so happens, she was a very cool American who had also showed up on-time her first time but loved going so much she just decided to be the one to open the doors and get the coffee ready for all the others who attended. Yes- OTHERS. As in more people than just accent-less Americans. (Though it’s quite entertaining to be told, “I love your American accent!” However, blurting out, “I don’t have an accent- you do,” might just reinforce the whole “self-absorbed American” picture the world has of us. I’m really sorry, America.) And then, throughout the morning, more and more people started filtering through- both Aussie and American, as well as a Brit or two. I couldn’t tell for sure because their accents all sound the same. They might have been French for all I could tell. Haha! I kid! French people can’t speak English!

ANYway…. I had fun. A lot of fun! And I learned that a schedule out here is really more like a suggestion so I showed up at 10am this morning and stayed til 1pm. No skid marks!

Turns out there are a lot of cool, artistic people in this joint and it includes people who love “fibre” other than just plain yarn. That first American I met does a lot of wet (Nuno) felting. She actually attended a conference in Perth last week that was all about felting. How cool is that?!? Next week, another lady I met today is teaching a class on wet felting. I got to see her in action today and I really can’t wait for next Friday!

Now, I know that there couldn’t possibly be anything that could happen today that could trump 3 hours of fiber-y goodness.

OH BUT THERE IS!

You see, Little Mister, who I thought was the most serious baby who ever graced this earth,

Future grumpy CEO
 who, though is full of smiles when he wakes in the morning, oftentimes is not amused with his mother,

Maybe if I poop on her she'll stop with the silly faces

and who happens to be quite possibly the chubbiest baby ever in the whole world,

We, who are about to rock, WILL POOP ON YOU!
though also the cutest,

Tummy time with Kermit and Mr. Turtle*
Mr. Serious Grumpypants.....today......for the very first time in his life,

SO VERY worth all the poops!
LAUGHED!!

My heart! It dies from the cuteness!

* That most awesome Kermit mat was made with tons of love for Little Mister by his honorary Auntie Lyteyz. LOVE YOU GIRL!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What the Devil?

OK- as promised, here’s the first installment of my dairy free (well…almost) week. My goal is to find healthy, dairy free foods that actually taste good because 1) I like to eat good food and 2) Big Mister, who not only loves my cooking but is also a Dairy King himself, pouted and said, “Don’t punish me just because you can’t eat dairy anymore!” Uh, HELLO Honey! This is for the benefit of your son! So, if mama can’t have cheese, ain’t NOBODY gonna have cheese!

First up this week is actually something that I did not make for dinner, was not from Cooking Light, and was not necessarily something I’d brand as “healthy.” BUT! It was dairy free and delicious, so I could eat it to my heart’s content- clogged arteries and chunky thighs notwithstanding.

Turns out I was invited to a potluck brunch Tuesday. Look at me- already making friends and all. *aww shucks*

The hostess, as well as some of the attendees, attend the Friday Fibre Friends meeting- basically a knit and crochet group of women who can’t spell “fiber” that meets on Fridays. Yes- I searched out all things yarny when I found out we were moving here and attended my first meeting the first Friday I was here- jetlagged and all. Don’t get between me and my fibre, yo. (HAHA! My MS Word is obviously smart American and is giving me the red squiggly line under “fibre” because EVEN A COMPUTER PROGRAM KNOWS IT’S SPELLED F-I-B-E-R!)

Anywho, my contribution to the potluck was Deviled Eggs. I LURVE Deviled Eggs and I usually always make them if there’s a potluck we are attending. My Mister loves them, too, so I knew I had to make a few extra otherwise he’d be upset that I made his food for people other than him and that goes against our marriage vows. And, of course he’d know that I made Deviled Eggs for someone else because it made our house smell of boiled eggs which, if you have never smelled boiled eggs before, well…they smell like farts. Like the really bad ones from your old Uncle Charlie who you are pretty sure ate nothing but cabbage, beans, and rotted road kill.

Actual phone conversation with My Mister:

Me: I made Deviled Eggs for the brunch and now our whole house smells like farts.

Mister: What else is new?


Thanks a lot, Uncle Charlie.

Even though I have made these quite a few times, it’s been a while since I made them last and needed to look up the recipe to refresh my memory. And that was roadblock number one. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I MOVED TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD and do not have access to my household goods, including my cookbooks. Yes- I mailed my yarn, but my cookbooks were much lower on the totem pole of important things in our lives. What good is food if you don’t have your yarn? EXACTLY. There would be no point in living anymore.

Well, considering we live in an amazing time in history where we can access just about any information ever conceived by the quick click of a button, I thought- no biggie! I’ll just google the recipe. It’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook- the red checkered one. “Betty Crocker Deviled Eggs” goes into my google bar and the extremely simple recipe comes back. Right?

WRONG!

They had 300 thousand bazillion recipes for deviled eggs, but not MY recipe for deviled eggs. WTHemorrhoid?!? GAH!

So, I had to reconstruct the recipe from memory. All of the other recipes I saw had quite a few ingredients like relish and eye of newt. The recipe I use is basically just mayo, mustard, and vinegar and they are FABULOUS.

So, I know I have the right ingredients, but I’m not completely sure about the quantities EXCEPT! I remembered that both the mustard and the vinegar were 1 teaspoon each. I just couldn’t remember how many eggs with which that corresponded (but I think it may have been 6), or the amount of mayo needed. Oh well!


The keys to the tastiest farts you'll ever eat
I used:
10 hardboiled eggs (it's best if you don't count them in my pictures. Just take my word for it.)
5 Tbs. Mayo (they don't have Kraft mayo- theirs is a little more translucent, so the filling was...different than I remember it.)
1.5 tsp yellow mustard (they do have French's Mustard. Score one for the Australians.)
1.5 tsp white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (though I think I put a tad too much salt in mine.)
paprika sprinkled on top. (Gots to have the paprika)


Remove the yolks from the eggs and mash them up with all the ingredients except for the paprika. Place the mixture in a zip-top plastic bag for easy piping. Just snip off a small corner and pipe away.


Yep...ten eggs. Ten whole eggs.
Unfortunately I also don't have my pretty little Deviled Egg platter, so I had to do the best with what I have.


Hmm...not quite there. And there's a funky one in there somewhere

STOP WITH THE COUNTING ALREADY!
I covered them with plastic wrap, but to protect them from getting smooshed from the wrap, I used toothpicks to keep it aloft. Oh wait. No I didn't because I don't have any toothpicks.


Give me some duct tape and a knife and I'll out MacGyver MacGyver
I used plastic tie wraps that came with some freaky freezer bags they have here. I guess they don't do zip top freezer bags- just sandwich bags. Silly Australians.

So, my brunch went well, but unfortunately my eggs were the only non-dairy fare available except for some tasty butternut squash soup. Since I'm breastfeeding and thus need to eat a metric ton every half hour to keep up my milk production, and since I didn't cheat and snack on any of my eggs prior to arriving (you didn't count, right?), I ended up eating a quesadilla and some quiche. One of them has cheese IN ITS FREAKIN' NAME! It should be called the Devil and not my delicious eggs! Stupid satanic cheese.

So, hopefully next week will be my first truly, absolutely, no excuses dairy free week.

Oh, and My Mister did want the leftovers....but then he didn't eat them because he's some germaphobe freak and saw my twisty ties in the eggs and questioned their food grade safety and then said something about not trusting the Chinese. Don't worry- I hid the aluminum foil so he can't wear his hat tonight.

(ETA: HAHAHA! My Mister just read my blog and said, "You're not being fair or specific! I don't know what were their manufacturing conditions!" The aluminum is FAR FAR AWAY!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Resting and Planning and Thinking

My Mister, whom I love very, very much, has been driving me crazy with all of the exploring he wants to do in our new town. Yes, honey, we have a car and can go out and about now, but that doesn't mean we HAVE to. It's not like we're moving back next month and need to cram in every single touristy thing there is to do RIGHT NOW. Just calm the heck down already!

I’m ready to stab people in the throat and tear my hair out (which doesn’t need much coaxing to leave its follicles- the whole postpartum balding season is upon me) to get some much needed R&R and the weekends are my only time to take advantage of having someone to watch Little Mister so I can go to the bathroom to, oh I don’t know- pee? read? sleep? without yelling, “IT’S OK! MAMA JUST NEEDS TO WIPE AND SHE’LL BE RIGHT THERE HONEY!” making an even better impression on my new neighbors. The only way I can make myself and possibly all Americans look worse in their eyes is if I marched down the streets draped in an American flag while chanting, “We’re Number One! You’re Number Two! Australia is a dumb hunk of poo! SanDimasHighSchoolFootballRULES!”

Anywho, Big Mister could sense that I could use some extra sleep- he’s good at reading my extremely subtle hints of gently snarling, hissing and spitting randomly throughout the day- so he offered to take Little Mister on a walk Saturday morning so that I could sleep-in a little. Even though it was only an extra hour (though it felt like 2 minutes), I so appreciated those precious minutes alone. On a bed. All by myself. (!!) He also eased off of the, "Oooo OOOOO! Let's do this and go there and wake up early and put the baby in the car seat so we can go and drive now that we have a car and we can do things that are not sleeping!" Yeah....I really needed the break. It helped take the edge off- now I only want to poke people in the throats with a dull stick.

I used this restful weekend to start my normalization process. Well…”normal” is relative. Considering the whole “dairy free” issue has been weighing heavily on my mind for a while, I’ve got to start a whole new normal- and I mean more than a life without cheese, although that does play a big part. You see, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to meal planning since I tend to have a stock of ingredients necessary for the meals I generally rotate through. Unfortunately, many of these meals do have dairy in them one way or another so I need to rethink my meal planning. Gah. “Thinking.” Totally overrated.

So, now it’s time to emulate my favorite Belgian detective and start working out those little grey cells again by putting on my Nutritionist cap at home and start planning healthy meals that are dairy free for me to make throughout the week. It’s always been my goal to actually make a meal plan for the week, go grocery shopping on the weekend, and then stick to my meal plan so that I don’t have any extra food to throw away at the end of the week. Unfortunately, the reality is that I suck at it. The whole sticking to plans thing. Since it’s just been Big Mister and me for so long, if we wanted to eat out (read: me no wanty cooky), we could just hop in the car and go wherever our taste buds took us. Now…it’s not that simple anymore. Now I start freaking out if we are out past 7pm since that means Little Mister’s new sleep schedule will be thrown out of whack and how the heck will we ever get to sleep a full night again if he never establishes a good sleeping pattern and why the heck are we eating out just so that I can be tempted by that glorious cheese that I can’t eat anymore but, hey- what’s one teensy little bite, right? OH NO! Little Mister has blood in his stools again! DARN YOU CHEESE YOU EVIL TEMPTRESS!!! (And, sadly, yes- this has happened since I apparently have the willpower of popcorn fart when it comes to cheese.)

However, now that I’m a mom, I’ve found that I’ve somehow inherited the Mommy Superpowers that allow me to clean the kitchen, eat breakfast, start a load of laundry, and catch up with my Twittering (tweets? Tweeps? Tweeterers?) all before Little Mister wakes up. Normally I’d be zonked out in Drool Land until 10am if I had a day off, as well as NOT CLEANING MY HOUSE so this transformation has been extraordinary. So, I put my newfound superpowers to work this restful weekend and I actually planned out the meals for the week. Dairy free meals! Without cheese! And we went grocery shopping this weekend so I have food for all of the meals I planned so that we don’t have to eat out and I won’t be tempted by that cheese. (Weeeelllll…..even the best laid plans aren’t fool proof….as I found out yesterday. More on that tomorrow.)

So. Here’s what I’m gonna do. Every Sunday, I’ll post what my weekly meal plans are. They’ll either be brand new recipes I’ve never tried before, stuff from my normal rotation that happen to be dairy free, or new creations that I throw together. I’ll provide the links to the recipes if available online, too. That being said, many of the things I make originate from Cooking Light magazine. If you do not have a subscription to this wonderful resource, I highly recommend it. Their recipes are amazing and they have so many good health tips and information. I LOVE Cooking Light!

If you have any dairy-free meals you'd like to share, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!  For reals. I'm sure other readers wouldn't mind some new recipes- I know I wouldn't- and I'd love to hear from ya!

Since I've already started my meal planning this week, I'm going to finish out this week- blog wise- commenting on some the things I've made so far- starting tomorrow. Gotta give myself some goals to work towards now that I'm a SAHM and not out in the workplace anymore. As much as I'd like to just sit and eat tea and crumpets all day (which are VERY GOOD, btw!), I do need to get a move on and start the whole pregnancy weight loss plan in earnest now, starting with planning healthy meals.

Right now, I've got to head to bed. Strange- most of you are just now waking up....to begin the day that has just ended for me. I'm talking to y'all from the future! ooooEEEEEoooooooooo!

Catch ya on the flip side.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Perfect Storm

It seems like the Perfect Storm has occurred for me in the last couple days. A really wonderful Perfect Storm full of snuggles, feedings, sleeping, and baby poop.

Yes, Little Mister has been going through a growth spurt and I’ve basically been held prisoner in my bedroom for the past couple days. Now, up until this point, I would have been filled with anxiety and counting the minutes on the clock until he finished eating. HURRY LITTLE BABY! Eat! Eat! EAT!! Up until this point, I’ve unfortunately not been able to enjoy the whole breastfeeding/bonding experience to its fullest since I’ve had something or other to accomplish RIGHT NOW and a tiny little baby takes too long to gulp, slurp, and motorboat his way to fullness.

I’ve been on-the-go non-stop for the last few months and, truth be told, I’m a little concerned how hard I’m going to crash once I’m able to process everything that I’ve been going through. I’ve been putting it off- mainly because I’ve not had the time to truly think and process and OH.MY.LANTA! I’M A MOM NOW!

Since moving here 3 weeks ago, we’ve had to do the normal things you have to do when you move to another country- get a local driver’s license, get a local bank account, get a new vehicle, have a heart attack due to sticker shock since everything out here is SO VERY EXPENSIVE, and walk, walk, walk everywhere since you do not have a car and then you are stuck walking in a strange city when your very hungry little baby needs to eat RIGHT NOW and you don’t have the privacy of your own car with tinted windows and a sun shade and your dearly beloved Boppy with you so you can feed him properly so he cries and cries and your heart breaks and you yell and cry at your husband, “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO US???” even though you know he’s been through so very much himself and his heart breaks hearing his son cry and seeing his wife have a meltdown and he wishes he could just fix it RIGHT NOW.

*HUGE inhale*

No. It’s not been an easy transition for me. Not into motherhood, nor as an ex-pat. Although, I do think the transition into motherhood would have been much easier (MUCH!) had the whole moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-world thing did not happen AT THE SAME TIME. (When the opportunity first came up and we knew we’d be most likely be moving with a 2-month old, we thought, Crikey! Sounds good to me, mate! And we danced a dance of joy and threw shrimps on the barbie. And then the reality slowly sunk in as I started getting bigger and bigger and the pain became unmanageable and the baby just WOULD NOT BE BORN no matter how much I begged and pleaded and cried and bribed him with candy.)

When Little Mister started having blood in his stools and I couldn’t just jump in my own car and take him to his pediatrician or even to an urgent care center, I seriously thought my heart was going to break in two and would never mend due to all of the shoving aside of thoughts and emotions I’ve been shoving down deeper and deeper until I started becoming a walking zombie- emotionless and simply going through the daily motions of life- and I can’t even have the comforts of cheese to help me cope! I do not like this version of me. Not at all, Sam I am. It reminds me too much of the “me” I was last year when I wouldn’t- couldn’t- process my first pregnancy…and loss. Even to this day, I have a difficult time saying the “m” word.

Heck. It’s not been a tough couple months. It’s been a tough couple years, really.

My creativity has both waxed and waned during these times. Sometimes I’ll have a creative frenzy where the most beautiful creations and colors will rush through my mind. Other times the colors are muted and the creativity just won’t come. Sometimes I escape in my books- living vicariously through the lives brought forth in the pages before me. Recently, my creative juices have been flowing (I’m being published!!!!) and I’m happy about that. Yet I felt guilty when I would pick up my hooks knowing that I had SO MUCH to do to get ready to move and shouldn’t I be enjoying this time with my baby a little more since that’s what everybody tells me to do? “Enjoy this time- they grow so fast.”

But I couldn’t enjoy it. I wanted to very very badly to just hold my baby and love him and kiss his huge (HUGE!) cheeks and smell him- even when he’s smelly- and kiss that gummy mouth of his and snort him like a new skein of wool and I COULDN’T.

Instead I had to pass him off to my mom during the first week of his life since I knew it would be a very long time before she would see her first grandchild again. I had to put him in his car seat so he could sleep instead of lying down with him or letting him fall asleep on me anytime he wanted to just so I could get something done RIGHT NOW. I had to watch the clock and think, “Why aren’t you done eating yet?!? Don’t you know I have things I need to do RIGHT NOW and you are eating and eating and eating and I love you but you need to HURRY!”

Hurry! Hurry! HURRRRRRRY!!!

This brings me to the last couple of days. We finally have a vehicle so I don’t have to walk 45 minutes into town and 45 minutes back to run errands. We have our bank account and driver’s license. We don’t have all our stuff here yet, and that’s good. It means I don’t have to rush unpacking. I’ve been able to stay home and b-r-e-a-t-h-e and NOT in a hurried way that causes hyperventilation. And, best of all, this is the time that Little Mister has decided to go through a growth spurt.

He’s needed me every hour or so to feed him and gets cranky when I’m not with him. I’ve been able to sleep-in with him in the morning- having him nestled in the crook of my arm which is a perfect position for me to kiss his little head. Ok. So he’s sprayed me with fountains of poop which was really gross and did cause me to HURRY to get it all off me. BUT then we were able to snuggle again so he could eat (again!) and then I was able to nap with him because all of that eating and growing makes a baby very sleepy. And I didn’t need to HURRY and get up, leaving him in the bed alone, so that I could get Something Really Important done RIGHT NOW. I’ve been able to just stare at him and think- Oh.My.Lanta. This is my son and I love him.

And I thank My Mister for “doing this to me.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pardon Me- Do You Have Any Grey Poop-on You?

Wow. So, I’m pretty sure Little Mister is going through a growth spurt right now. Either that or he’s been possessed by some all-you-can-eat-boobie-buffet spirit today. Last night he was waking to eat every hour or so*. Well, it’s not really “waking” when all you do is turn toward the food source with your mouth gaping wide open and paw at your mom’s nursing tank while grunting in your sleep. At least he’s finally figured out that I’m the one to paw at and not just any body part he may be facing. (My Mister has been startled awake a few times by Little Mister trying to nurse on his arm. Makes me giggle just thinking about it.) I try to appease the little guy before he does wake up and start wailing his, “GIVE ME FOOD NOW!” battle cry. Also, I feel a little guilty hearing his loud, slightly labored breathing as I remember that I should have removed his boogers before going to bed so he could actually breathe at night. (Am I the only one who goes “fishing” with a tightly rolled tissue for his snot instead of using the booger-sucker-bulb? Maybe I shouldn’t put this out there for all to see, but I must admit I get a little thrill when I notice there’s a little bat in the cave that needs to be removed. OH GOODY! A booger for me to fetch! It’s a sickness, I know.)

Anywho, the real problem with eating all night long- other than ensuring your mother does not sleep AT.ALL. during the night thus making her slightly delirious in the morning. So delirious she does strange things such as not quite make eye contact as she’s stalking your nose mucus as soon as you wake. Maybe if you LET YOUR MOM SLEEP, she wouldn’t be chasing you with rolled up tissue so much. Just a thought.

Ahem. As I was saying, the real problem with eating all night long is that all that milk will eventually need to come out. Just in case you are not sure where I’m going with this, that milk comes out as poop. LOTS AND LOTS OF POOP.

Oh dear God- the amount of poop that comes out of such a little person. *shudder*  Now, I’m not a diaper expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure that when there is more poop on me than what is trapped in the diaper, that is called a DIAPER FAIL. I might as well have stuck a paper towel on his butt. A wet one with a large hole in it. 

There I was, lovingly holding Little Mister on my lap while we watched Murder She Wrote when all of a sudden I heard the telltale grunts and then felt the bubbly farts letting me know that his food finally finished cooking. Then the wet warmth on my lap let me know that this loving moment would not end well for me. Sure enough, a large, wet, yellow spot started growing on my pajama bottoms- and then made a run for it down my leg while shouting, “FREEEEEEDOM!!!” When the second wave of bubbly farts started its world tour, I realized I may need to incinerate Little Mister’s pajamas because there’s not enough water in the world to wash out all that poop. 

I quickly put him on the changing pad on the floor and started ripping off his clothes so that he wouldn’t marinate in that yellow brew and then bravely went for the diaper.  It was once I took off the diaper that I realized that the Poop World Tour included a trip all the way up his back and down his legs. Seriously- what was the point of putting a diaper on him at all?? It was only by the grace of God that I was able to put a new diaper on him at that moment because it was precisely at that moment that I also noticed that I had a huge poop stain on my nursing tank, as well. 

Now, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the professional mother’s way of handling things like this, but I’m still new at this game, so cut me some slack. I was totally grossed out by this point and could only think, “GET IT OFF OF ME! GET IT OFF OF ME!!” There may have been some slight screaming of, “EEEWWWWWWW!” as I jumped off the floor and started striping on my way to the laundry room. I didn’t even care (or notice) that my blinds were open and that my new neighbors may have gotten a little bit of a show from the new Yank next door. (So glad to do America proud, y’all.)

I continued on my way to the shower since I knew I had poop on my stomach, arms, and legs and that baby wipes just weren’t going to cut it. Once I was showered and feces free again, I put on some clean clothes, sighed in relief, and then it was at this point that I realized I LEFT MY BABY ALL ALONE ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR. You can see now why I’m glad I put that diaper on him when I did. I almost left a deadly weapon of poop destruction unsupervised on my living room floor. Whew. Barely dodged the “Bad Mother Award.”

After looking around to see if my new neighbors saw what I did and were now calling CPS, I wrestled with what I should do next – take him a bath or stick a cork in his butt? I finally thought it was only fair to bathe him since I was clean and, besides, the built up pressure from a corked butt could result in one of us losing an eye. 

By the time he was fresh, clean, and poop free, he let me know it was time to replenish his ammunition stores. The other thing about this particular growth spurt is that, besides being really cranky today, he only wanted to nurse while lying down in bed. This was fine by me since I figured I could catch some much needed sleep. So, down we went. He started eating as I lovingly looked down at him wondering how anything so perfect could be mine. And that’s when the bubbly farts started again. *HUGE SIGH* This time instead of striping myself, I had to strip the bed. What made this worse is the fact that I had just washed the sheets yesterday. So much for getting some sleep today. Anyone have a snotty nose that needs to be cleaned??

* He’s actually been eating like that all day long. I had to cancel my much needed chiropractic appointment this afternoon because I’m pretty sure it’s not easy to adjust a woman with a cranky, slightly smelly baby grafted to her bosom.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hurry Up and Relax!

A Gold Star goes to Jen who correctly guessed that we have landed Down Under. (There were a few others that got back to me on Rav and FB who also correctly guessed. Glad to know my initial hint wasn’t a complete fail. ;) ). I have always wanted to live in Australia and My Mister and I were lucky enough to visit about 10 years ago, so this is a dream come true. However, these last couple weeks here haven’t exactly been the stuff that dreams are made of.  Thankfully, as of yesterday, we finally got some wheels! WOOT! That is definitely going to make things a little easier now.

As excited as I am to finally have a car again, I must say I’m enjoying the irony that today is the first day that there is nothing for me to do that requires a vehicle. I get to stay home and just….take it easy. Quite a foreign concept for me as of late. After all I’ve had to go through to get this car, it’s a little anticlimactic, actually. I feel like I should make up an urgent crisis that requires me to urgently jump in the car and fix it. Urgently. Instead I have time to just FINALLY relax and do nothing but enjoy spending time with Little Mister, watch TV without guilt, even crochet or read with impunity. And yet I feel antsy about it! My body is so tense and at the ready to pounce on the next crisis that appears. I am a puma! Do not mess with me! Hi YA! (Pumas know karate, right?)

Even while I was crocheting this past week, I felt like I had to make that hook fly and hurry, hurry, HURRY! for some unknown reason. And I feel super guilty for purposefully putting Little Mister in his swing in front of the TV and willing him to fall asleep so that I could have a few moments to myself to type up this blog post. My precious baby boy is going to have ADHD and a below average IQ because I let the TV babysit him for a few minutes. (How he can fall asleep watching MacGyver, I’ll never know. All that resourceful and mullet-y goodness on screen? HELLO!)  I don’t know if this is normal “mommy guilt” or the result of the months of stress I’ve been through.  Whatever the reason, I blame My Mister for it. Teehee!

Anywho, as I mentioned, we needed some coasters. Every time we put our drinks on our table without a coaster, my eyes would twitch a little and my hooks would fly even faster. So I went through my temporary mini (but slightly huge-ish) stash and pulled out some wools and cranked these babies out.

Wool Doodles

It was nice to have small projects to just doodle with. That purple one was the first time I crocheted in a spiral. I kept looking up free patterns on how to do it but couldn’t get the concept, so I just tried it on my own in a way that made sense to me and, what do you know? It worked! I think a video is in my near future... I've got some ideas for the star pattern and the blue/grey pinwheel pattern, as well...

Another thing we need are placemats. (Again with the eye twitching! HURRY UP HOOKS SO WE CAN EAT!) I started them with white as the main color since I have a lot of white thread. (It was for a different project that I started- a curtain- but that is for a different post.)

Pretty Pastels

But I just wasn't feeling it. So I started over in black. (EEK! Must hurry! The table is NAKED!)

Pretty Placemat.


Oh yeah baby! Black really made the colors pop! Unfortunately, I ran out of black as I was doing the border. Argh.  I only had the one ball of thread and I had already used some of it for Little Mister's Sock Monkey hat, but I ordered some online (the yarn supply here is woefully sad!) but unfortunately won't receive it until the 28th. Argh again. Perhaps my eye twitch is here to stay. *sigh*

The funny thing about this is that I absolutely love it and I'm planning on making a set of 4- each with a different color sequence. However, My Mister just isn't feeling it as a placemat. He doesn't think they are manly enough to put his food on. (Yes, he seriously said that. Yeah. I don't know, either.) However, I put it over our couch pillow and he really liked it. Huh. Go figure. So, in order to keep harmony in our new house, and to prevent an un-manly dining experience, my placemats are going to end up as pillows.

In the meantime, we'll have to do without placemats (or, heaven forbid, actually go buy some) until my thread arrives. I have another idea for placemats, actually. I'm thinking of doing a Southwest theme for this house, so.....we'll see where that leads.

So, for now, I'll try to be zen about it all and actually enjoy having nothing to do for once. I have to do it RIGHT NOW before the baby wakes up and ruins my MacGyver ogling.  Hellllloooooo mullet!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Neck of the Woods

So I started a blog post last week in honor of my 3rd blogiversary (YAY ME!) but just never had time to finalize it due to Little Mister deciding that he prefers sleeping at night rather than during the day. Part of me is so thankful, yet part of me misses the time when he would sleep all day long so I could get some things accomplished. Granted, I never got things accomplished then either since the moment I moved he would wake up and thus want to eat again. Now when he wakes up he actually wants to interact with parts of me other than my boob and I feel compelled to interact with him lest he grows up to be a big fat dummy.

Another obstacle I’ve faced in accomplishing anything is the fact that we do not have a vehicle yet. We’ve been test driving cars- which in and of itself has been an adventure since they drive on the wrong side of the road here*- and will hopefully finally buy a car on Monday. The people here are very nice and have basically bent over backwards offering us assistance as we get settled in. I’m so very thankful for that but also hate becoming an imposition. However, I did have to take my new neighbor up on their offer to borrow their vehicle yesterday when we had to take Little Mister to the hospital for some tests. I’ve been super freaked out since finding blood in his stools on Tuesday. After many trips to and from doctors to figure it out, they suspect it’s due to a milk protein allergy. Thus, I have to stop eating/drinking dairy and he should be fine.

Considering the other, scarier causes for bloody stools, I am thankful that it’s something that I can actually control. That said, after the initial relief swept over me upon hearing the news, the full reality of the sacrifice I will have to make hit me. I am totally a dairy queen! I eat cereal every morning for breakfast (or oatmeal made with milk rather than with water) and will eat it for a snack or even for dessert. I eat yogurt just about every day and I’ve once again picked up that nasty ice cream eating habit. However, I know I can drink rice milk with my cereal and, let’s face it- I really don’t need that ice cream- but I think the toughest part for me is giving up the ooey gooey gloriousness that is cheese. I love cheese. I would totally marry it if I could. I LOVE cheese. And now… no more Brie and Bread. No more cheesy omelette or burritos. No more fondue. No more Melted Cheese on a Plate! (Which is where you get some cheese, put it on a plate, and then melt it. YUM.) Gah! This kid better appreciate my sacrifice!

Another frustration has been the inconsistency of our internet access. We’ve been using a wireless hotspot since arriving here and are waiting (and waiting and waiting) for our internet service to be hooked up. We used to use our cell phones for internet but now can only do that when we have access to wifi which is NOT freely available here. I really don’t want to be the snobby American, but dang…we really do have it good in the US! (Something I totally miss from home? FREE REFILLS! Do they really think that 3 oz of Diet Coke poured over 9oz of ice will last an entire meal???)

We are still waiting (and will be waiting for a few months) for our stuff to be shipped out here. However, we were able to mail some things ahead of us- the things we deemed the most important- and thankfully those things have arrived. I, of course, mailed my yarn. Not my whole stash, unfortunately, but enough to last a good year or two while I wait for the rest of it to arrive. Big Mister tried talking me out of mailing so much of my yarn, but he quickly backed down when I growled and hissed calmly explained that I’ll need something to keep me busy and sane out here.

So, I’ve been on a crocheting spree while Little Mister takes his 30 minute cat naps during the day and when he finally goes down to sleep at night. I made us some felted coasters and am currently making some placemats. (Pictures coming soon!) Our coasters and placemats are being shipped over right now. They were not as important as my yarn. Neither was the majority of my clothing, actually. I may wear the same 5 outfits every day for a couple of months, but gosh darn it- I’ve got my yarn.

Anywho- just a little update on what’s been going on in my neck of the woods. Hopefully things will start to settle down really soon. Getting a car will be a huge step in establishing normalcy again. Well, as normal as things can be without cheese. (Why did it have to be a dairy allergy??? WHY?!?)

* This is the second hint in the Where in the World is Gege game. The first hint was my sign off to y’all in the post where I told you I moved. I guess I was too subtle. You call people Zoobaroos one to many times and they eventually figure out you don’t really live in Zoobilee Zoo, so they think you’re just quirky and ignore any other ways you sign off. *sigh* HINT FAIL.