Last year I discovered the love of baking and cooking in general. Once James was over his colicky nightmare, I found pleasure and a release of sorts in the kitchen. For some reason since the end of last year and until this past month I lost that curiosity and love of creating in the kitchen. Well, let me tell you, one trip to Barnes and Noble for Ratio, and a subsequent trip to Bed, Beth and Beyond and it is all rekindled. Ok, it isn't that simple, but I have rediscovered my love of the kitchen. It has been a slow process, but today, things feel different.
I wanted this book, Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman when I discovered his blog many months ago. However, I didn't have the heart to even fathom cooking based on numbers. Hell, I didn't even have the heart to cook period. Before this past month, I tried to keep up the appearance of cooking and baking by cheating with 5 minute breads that turned out DIFFERENT every time. I passed it off as baking, but in all honesty, it was me trying to compensate for my complete lack of enjoyment and lack of will do to anything in the kitchen. I could throw some frozen chicken and Cream of Mushroom Soup in the slow cooker like no body's business, but cooking, real cooking had left the building. I still adore my slow cooker and think it invaluable, but the pleasure from cooking and baking had gone.
It returned over the past month. It started with a few things here, maybe a homemade thing there, but it was back. So today, I dusted off my measuring cups and standing mixer and started baking. I even bought a kitchen scale. It is the best rated kitchen scale from America's Test Kitchen! I am back baby!
And goodness, if I can have this on any Sunday morning, based completely on my rekindled loved of the kitchen, Michael Ruhlman and his lovely wife, Donna Turner Ruhlman who is the artist behind this picture, I might be almost, 50% complete.
Ever have a day that starts out one way and ends up having you land on another planet in a different time continuum? Not sure why I am quoting things from Star Wars/Star Trek/Twilight Zone but really that is how today felt.
Woke up feeling great. Got a wonderful night rest. James slept until 6:40 and Jeff let me sleep until 7:30. I didn't have to rush anywhere and I even PUT MAKEUP ON BEFORE I LEFT THE HOUSE! And I REMEMBERED TO TAKE MEAT OUT OF THE FREEZER FOR DINNER. So far, so GREAT!
Dropped off kids, got to office, worked hard, IM'd with a favorite friend of mine, fixed a problem with my blog pictures, worked really hard some more, ate a very healthy salad for lunch and then got the call. Cousin A was in an accident. She is six months pregnant with a little being. Her husband called to tell us the news and to ask us for our extra car. Well of course they can have the extra car, and the baby is ok for now, but damn, that just throws the day for quite the loop.
Can't help them immediately because they were on observation so I proceed to work some more and then head to my parents to get kids and proceed to have my mom sit me down and say, "We need to talk." OH MY LORD! Turns out, the talk was AWESOME!. The result was wonderful and ended with my mom saying, "You do realize how much you are like me don't you?" I am sassy, quick to temper but quick to forgive. I love and nurture and take care of what is important. I am lucky to be like my mom!
Then, I take the kids grocery shopping. Yes, grocery shopping with a four year old and a one year old is fork in eye ball inducing, but it had to be done. We had no bagels. Thirty minutes and two balloons that really should have sent me to the insane asylum later, we were on our way home.
Still, we couldn't go to help Cousin A because they weren't ready and things still needed to be done at home. I proceeded to start a' cookin! Meatballs and Marinara from scratch was on tap. 45 minutes and two balloons that should have once again sent me to the insane asylum later, we were on our way to rescue Cousin A. Even Bubba took the trip.
My sister and brother-in-law were on the phone offering medical assistance. We found Jeff, saw Cousin A and then took care of the car and transport business. We saw her and I cried. The baby is fine, the mommy is bruised and battered and the daddy will survive the trauma of almost losing his wife and unborn child.
The day started out great, and ended with me giving my life a great big hug!
For some reason, my little family rarely gets out as a unit. Except for going out to eat, which mint.com says we do way too much, we don't go on a lot of weekend outings. I do a lot with the kids on my own, as does Jeff. But, for the most part we don't take advantage of where we live together. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to change this. It took us until March to start working on this resolution. However, another one was to lose weight but instead I am gaining weight so really everything is on schedule.
Today, we took off North East to Sonoma and the ever fabulous TrainTown! It is a great place for the two and up set.
Let the Adventures Begin!
James spent the majority of the day confined to his stroller while Lilly rode each ride. Sometimes, you got to take one for the team, and today was James' day!
He did get to ride his first Carousel. He was not overwhelmed!
Lilly on the other hand was delighted with the entire setup!
Riding the train.
The train ride lasts twenty minutes and travels through a very small area. You would be amazed at what is packed in there. We even stopped at an Old West type "town" where visitors feed goats, sheep and even a Llama. There was a Saloon. It wasn't real. Mama was disappointed.
Please refer to the gaining weight statement above. Standing like Paris Hilton doesn't help. In fact, it makes my arms look huge! Where is my YummieTummie?
Oh my, they are high! Do you see them?
Oh my, do you see James and me?
Lilly is thinking of following in her Grandpa's footsteps.
No offense to other pilots, but she is the cutest!
We left Train Town and headed to Sonoma Plaza where we ate our picnic lunch and the kids played in the park. It was truly beautiful.
Here is Lilly showing her strength or Here is Lilly singing a Pirate Song! Not sure which!
The Award for the Lamest Sick Person of 2010 goes to....
Oh my, thank you so much for this award. I never thought when I woke up on Wednesday morning with a searing sore throat, a fever of 101 and unknown liquids forming in my head and sinus areas that there would be such a reward at the end. Looking back a whole six weeks ago, I never believed such sickness would get me again. Those who know me, know my aptitude for being the one who gets the sickest and stays that way the longest.
I would like to thank all my supporters who helped me achieve this award.
To Jeff: Thank you for taking care of the children while I took to bed and slept and sweated and requested food and liquids. But mostly, I thank you for not killing me.
To my parents: Thank you for bringing us Korean for dinner last night. This may have been the reason I finally saw the sunlight and rose from my sickbed. A special shout out to my dad for coming to get the kids this morning and taking them to the park. Not sure what I did to continue to receive all these wonderful gifts!
To my children: Thank you for helping dad keep the house intact and for behaving, kind of.
And to World Peace!
As I look back at my illness from six weeks ago, I happened to notice that it coincided with working the nursery on a Sunday morning. I worked the nursery this past Sunday and was sick three days later.
Now, I am placing no blame on the nursery. Many, many parents stay in the nursery and aren't bed ridden three days later. However, it doesn't take a Jessica Fletcher to put two and two together. The next time I am required to serve in the nursery, and I am happy to do so, I will be wearing this.
James, who if you don't know is one year old, has an obsession with rectangular objects. I wish I could catch him on video because it cute. Weird, but cute. Although if I think about it long enough I decide he has some developmental issue and start googling rectangular obsession and oddly, there is a lot of information but nothing relating to this disorder I invented. This is the extent of my worries today, and in my book, that equals a pretty great day.
Instead of continuing to explain this made up malady infecting my child, here are links to my favorite places on the interwebs. Most of these I peruse every day because I value the writing, the opinions and the humor. I threw in a few links specific to today.
Please note: I am CLEARLY labeling certain blogs that are NSFMMOMIL (not safe for my mom or my in-laws) or for those easily shocked.
This story is crazy. What if someone "wins" this house and everything in this article turns out to be true. Heads will roll for sure!
I will keep you up to date on the impending clinical diagnosis for James' rectangle disease.
happymommy update: Here he is... He loves to place all rectangular objects on the ground. He would do it all day if you let him. Weird, cute and strange. (Please note Lilly's singing in the background. American Idol, here we don't come.)
I am starting to notice that when I fail to write over the weekend, there is way too much information packed in my brain. So much happened, yet I can't put words to "paper." I don't even have many pictures to share.
I spent Friday night at a work event dressed to the nines, wearing killer shoes.
And by killer, I mean it took me until today to walk normally.
Or, I could write about the dinner which was nearly ruined by three early 20 somethings who were clearly ENJOYING their Sunday afternoon. Me, being me, felt the need to almost stick my nose in their business. Were it not for the calm, and somewhat frightened of my behavior husband, things may have turned out differently at our new Chipotle.
Even worse, I could write about the heartache of failed marriages. Sunday was met with stories of broken vows and innocent children left to deal with the aftermath of infidelity. This makes the third broken family in less than six months that we know personally. (We won't speak of Sandra Bullock and her story of lies and betrayal. She is a former Pirate and we are on her side.)
There aren't enough words to write a post script to all this craziness. What I know is I am loved. I am blessed. I am lucky.
And please help us if James ever makes the football, soccer, hockey or debate team.
I talk about this all the time. We are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Even when the weather is awful, our surroundings are beautiful. But today... today was gorgeous. It astounds me that I got to spend the morning touring this amazing place.
And just went I thought it couldn't get any more beautiful, I spent the afternoon at a park. Now, a park usually gives me hives and makes me want to put forks in my eyeballs. I LOVE my kids, but I detest running after them making sure they don't hit their heads or get cornered by bullies. But this afternoon, we ended up here.
Really, this is the view from the park?
Even James loves it. Actually, he could care less about the view.
We ended the day with a chaotic dinner with four adults, four children and four highchairs. We survived. Everyone ate. Then, we all had a group hug!
The weather was here. I wish you were beautiful. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
We did have a beautiful day of adventure with Grandpa who was in town for twenty-four hours. Poor Grandpa; his air mattress deflated during the night and James was up bright and early at 6am. We ran around like crazy people trying to get out of Jeff's hair and hit breakfast, then I forced him to accompany us to a place full of children, mommies and nannies. Not to mention Merlin, the storyteller.
All day we were surrounded by sunshine and beautiful air.
Some might say it was hair-raisingly beautiful.
(Not sure raisingly is a word, but I am going with it.)
Some might even say it was tear inducing.
HAPPYMOMMY PublicServiceAnnouncement: Our dog, Bubba, just returned from the doggy dentist. Yes, the doggy dentist. A ton of money and four prescriptions later, Bubba lost another tooth. This is the third time we have done this teeth cleaning thing. It is necessary for the dog, and although it seems silly, it will give Bubba a few more years with us. So, people, clean your animals' teeth. Even if you don't go to the dentist, get your dog to one!
So many things to write about but so much that can't really be described. I will sum up the events of the weekend in pictures and a few words.
We took a road trip to a friend's house to visit her and her children. Lilly loves these kids. Jeff and I are friends with the parents, but unfortunately, over the course of the last year, we have watched the family unravel. We see the pain and we want to fix it, but for now, all we can do is let the children be friends.
One of Lilly's favorite things to do in life is jump. She loves to jump and bounce and maybe we should start calling her Tigger. Our friend has a trampoline.
Lilly was in heaven.
It took James a while to understand the process, but he got it!
We went bowling in Folsom. Yes, Folsom!
Lilly has never been bowling. She was in overdrive!
After all this excitement and a slumber party, we were all worn out and ready for the long drive home. I would write about how we decided to go to brunch and I left my phone at the house and I didn't answer a text for a whole hour and a half. I won't talk about how a missing person's report was put out on me and how the entire neighborhood watch was looking for us. I won't write about how for ten minutes I felt like I was in the twilight zone of crazy people.
I WILL write about how I feel loved. I mean, really loved. There are so many people who have no one who cares. I have an entire army of caring loved ones. I am blessed!
We generally do not think outside the box on Thursdays.
Jeff and I spend the morning corralling the kids through a routine. It usually involves Yo Gabba Gabba, a few whines and stomping of the feet as we attempt to get kids fed, dressed and out the door for swimming lessons. I will admit that the stomping feet are sometimes mine. I am only human!
Lilly, James and I manage to get through swimming lessons and then have a late, big breakfast and then we spend the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon at the Discovery Museum. Today was one of those days. I often post pictures of this place, but today was REALLY a day!
I reveled in the sun and the beauty. Then, Lilly wanted to play in the water feature and I tried to make her wear a t-shirt so she wouldn't get soaked. And she morphed into this thirteen year old.
We did manage to avoid a meltdown and then there was lunch and playing and general Thursday fun. I think.