Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

The good days with S are so over. She now thinks it’s hilarious to climb up the stairs, uproarious to clamber up onto the (slippery granite) coffee table, so-freaking-funny to stand and jump around on the couch. Not only am I fairly certain of mortal injury, but also a bit concerned about her sense of humor. Seriously? Standing on the coffee table is laugh out loud funny?

I say “No” and distract. I say “No” and distract. I say “No” and distract. I say “No” and distract. I say “No” and distract. Repetitive, isn’t it?

So, I’ve put her in lockdown. The only way I can cook dinner is to have her in her high chair. I give her toys. She throws them down. So she has no toys. Which leaves her with only one option: “Mamaaaaaaaaaaa! Mamaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Ever notice how another person’s baby crying doesn’t bother you at all? But your own child is genetically dialed-in to a specific pitch that can send you into epileptic-panic-stress-frenzy in a matter of seconds. It is the most annoying sound in the world.

So now we’re having this inane conversation:

S: Mamaaaaaaaaaa!
me: I’m sorry, I just can’t trust you not to kill yourself and I have to make dinner.
S: Mamaaaaaaaaaaa! Mamaaaaaaaaaaaa!
me: Well I told you not to jump on the couch/climb the stairs/dance on the coffee table.
S: Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!
me: Stop it, S! You’re driving me nuts!
L: That’s not nice, Mommy. She’s just a baby.

Great. It’s always a bad sign when L is the one telling me that I’m out of line in my parenting. Worse when he’s right.

But that noise she’s making.

That gawdawful noise!

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As many of you know, my mother in law, Nana, is coming to visit. Specifically, she’s coming 2 weeks from today and staying 26 days. She comes from very, very, very far away. Basically as far away as you can get on the planet before you’re headed back.

She’s one of those people who is so industrious that she can’t sit down and relax for even a moment. She’ll have dinner made, plus a totally different dinner to freeze for another time, and a few desserts prepared all before I come downstairs in the morning. Which I do around 6:30. Her day will continue in this frenzy of productive activity until she goes to bed, which is sometime after I do.

Here’s my problem: I am not as productive as she is. Not close. I don’t accomplish in a month what she does in a day. Which I’m normally fine with but I feel bad about when she’s here. I kind of just like to sit on the floor and play with S for a while. Maybe watch a DVR’d episode of Grey’s Anatomy or something at the same time. And, you know, blog. But that’s hard to do without feeling useless and lazy while Nana is outside hauling yard debris into the woods.

Here’s my actual, immediate problem that I need help with: I have exactly two weeks to whip my house into shape and make it look like it’s always that way. That means that every surface needs to be decluttered. Every corner cleaned. I need a plan. Any organized moms out there want to help me with a plan of attack? I look around and feel overwhelmed by the enormity of our slovenliness. I’m so busy picking up the same toys and all the stuff S empties out of my cupboards all day every day to deal with the bigger picture on a regular basis, so it’s gotten a bit out of hand. Ideally my cleaning/organizing spree would even include stuff like weeding outside, which hasn’t really been done since Nana’s last visit (when she did it).

See, I know I’m lazy. I just don’t want to look it. Help?

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As a 3-year-old, L’s pronunciation is markedly better than it was just a few months ago. I’m surprised how sad I feel when each toddler-speak word is replaced by the real thing in his vocabulary. Recently, he learned to pronounce his own name properly. Although, this will make playground introductions a lot less frustrating for him, I’m so sad to lose his cute, completely incomprehensible and unique language.

Despite his improvements in this area, my little emerging elocutionist still cannot converse so well with Nana. Between L’s remaining mispronunciations and Nana’s accent and use of different words, like “tea” to mean “dinner,” they have some peculiar conversations. Nevertheless, they are like peas in a pod. My worries around their relationship were entirely unfounded; about 10 seconds after their reunion, they were fast friends. (It’s been a year since Nana’s last visit.) Whew!

Listening to L’s and Nana’s strange conversations has me thinking about L’s history with language. I expected his first word to be ‘mama.’ Doesn’t every first time mom? But instead, it was ‘milk.’ Well, he said “mah.” His second word was not mama either. It was ‘up.’ That’s when my husband decided to teach him the word ‘open.’ Why a baby needs the word ‘open’ as his third word is beyond me, but T was hell-bent to teach it. He would carry L around opening every door and cabinet repeating “oh-pen, oh-pen, oooh-pen….” Soon L actually got it! Unfortunately, this muti-syllabic leap ruined all other words for him. Milk went from “mah” to “mah-em,” up from “up” to “up-em.” Every word L learned from then on was broken down to its first sound and then finished with “em.” This made him impossible to understand.

He continued in this bizarre vein until one day, he picked up a brand new word. He said it with precision and used it appropriately. A dropped sippy cup, a frustrating puzzle piece or a bumped head was promptly met with my cherubic toddler exclaiming, “Shit!” This turned more than one head and I pathetically stammered something like “that’s right, L, you are sitting,” or “sit, please, Mommy. Ask nicely.” I can’t imagine I fooled anyone.

As I write this L and Nana are in the other room preparing dinner together, roast chicken and vegetables. Nana keeps using the word roast; L is wondering when they’re going to get to putting everything in rows. L asks to cut the “vebidles” and Nana replies that they’ve already added enough pepper. Both are happy.

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Weird Crap Dinners

Tonight for dinner I fed my kids some weird crap. I do that a lot. About half the time I manage to make a normal, proper meal. The other half is either some frozen meal-wonder from Trader Joe’s or pizza, or some weird concoction. Any which way, L happily eats what I put in front of him. I am so lucky.

For all of the difficulties and challenges L presents me with daily, eating is one area where he’s always been great. And his sister seems to be heading right down the same path. Tonight she also ate the weird crap, but hers was even weirder as it was mixed with apple sauce.

What is this weird crap, you ask?

Every concoction has the same basic principles:

  • it’s stuff I have in my pantry, freezer or fridge;
  • it’s something that can be made in no time often while holding a baby;
  • it has nutritive value;
  • all components cook together and are served together for minimal dish washing.

So, tonight’s concoction was made of the following items: a can of kidney beans, whole wheat tortillas, brown rice (Trader Joe’s frozen variety – my favorite thing ever!); mozzarella cheese. WTF can a person make with those ingredients? It turns out, a not half bad number which I called a quesadilla.

It’s all about marketing. “Want a super really yummy quesadilla?” Sold!

For S, I skipped the cheese and tortilla and just mashed the beans a bit and mixed with rice. I could have stopped there, but I have a ton of baby purees that she won’t eat, that I’m determined to use up, so I added in some apple sauce. Voila, a perfect meal for a baby. I put some whole beans on her tray as finger food while I cooked L’s, then spoon fed her my concoction. Both my kids happily eating this very odd dinner. L declares, “You good chef, Mommy!” And I reply in all honesty, “You are a great eater, L.”

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