Monday, November 29, 2010

Lonely

I'm having a bad case of the Mondays today. Every year near the holidays, while I certainly spend my time spreading holiday cheer, I get a little grumpy that I'm not closer to my family. This year I'm a little more grumpy because we aren't near friends or family. When I went to the gym tonight, even my Pandora stations were conspiring against me. There were no fewer than three references to Chicago in live versions of songs, and one mention of Dallas.
I also have a lot of annoying things to do. For example, I have to follow up with our health insurance about some claims which will mean several long confusing phone calls to find out what tiny step I have to take to fix the confusing issue. I have to change our address with a couple of rarely used bank accounts which will involve sending an actual letter out, which will mean a trip to the post office for stamps. I have to get the oil changed on the car. I hate these kinds of tasks. They always take longer than you think they will, and sometimes you are not even sure when you are finished with them completely.
In the house, I want to decorate the front porch and clean the entryway. This is what greets me in the entryway right now.
Stepping over this box every day is the current bane of  my existence
I have had emptying that box on my to-do list since we moved in, but every day I just step over or around it. Tomorrow, I will face the horror that is the box and clean up the junk that is accumulating down there. 

Things just seem to keep piling up right now faster than I am getting things done. I need a time vacation.

On a positive note, I ran outside on Saturday and Sunday nights, first with Wiggle and then by myself. It felt really good, and I went as fast as I do on the treadmill, which was surprising since it's definitely harder outside. Tonight, I went to the gym and ran for 10 minutes, but then got on the stair climber for 15 minutes. I hate the stupid stair climber because it's sooo boring and I'm a little afraid that I will fall off, but I'm doing it to help build up the muscles in my knees, and I think it's helping. I've gotten over some hump with my running so that it's easier and more fun right now. I think I need to look for a couple of races to sign-up for now because I feel like I can actually train for a race now.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving in Virginia was a success. It was just the three of us, but we had a lovely meal and a lovely day.
Wiggle helping C stir the brining solution
The big, beautiful bird
A little Thanksgiving day drama
My handsome boy
Enjoying dinner with a real wine glass (with a little soda and water)
A good dinner is always followed by some block building
After dinner we watched Toy Story 3 and snuggled on the couch. Then we took a walk around the neighborhood at Wiggle's request. He was a little disappointed when there weren't other kids out and about at 7:30 pm, but we still had a nice walk. The little boy didn't even make it upstairs before he was asleep in Daddy's arms. 
C and I enjoyed some pumpkin pie and a little more of the wine from the winery that shares my last name. All in all a good day.








Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Plans

We did most our shopping today for the Big Meal later this week. I still have to get the turkey tomorrow, and find pearl onions and ginger preserves, and get the liquor. Shoot, I guess there's more left than I thought. Luckily, I get a block of time tomorrow without the boy to navigate the horror that is the grocery store the week of Thanksgiving.
We will be doing the same meal that C and I have been doing every year for the past (gulp) fourteen years. We've cooked for hoards of friends and family; we've cooked for a few close friends; we've cooked at our own house and at others' houses. It's always funny to me the hype surrounding this mythical meal. At a playgroup last week, everyone was complaining how long it took to cook a turkey. Most of them weren't hosting their own Thanksgivings, and for that they gave thanks, because they had an outdated idea that they'd have to wake up at 5 am to deal with the bird. I said that my turkey is always done in under 3 hours, which, I'm pretty sure, made them think I am a witch, or that I like to eat raw bird. I will start my food prep on Tuesday evening, and will have knocked out all but the onions, brussel sprouts, and bird before Thursday. It will still seem hectic, but it will also seem comfortable and familiar, like the holidays should. It will be harder too this year, with the Tasmanian Devil that is Wiggle underfoot in the kitchen, but hey, this is why I've been training all these years, right?
I know that holidays are stressful in many ways, but I intend to and do enjoy my holidays. I make sure to sip a glass of Dubonnet with a twist, just as my mother sometimes did while cooking. I make enough food to ensure leftovers, which also means a few days of minimal cooking for the days following the holiday. I spend time with my family playing games or snuggled up watching movies. I do not participate in the madness that is Black Friday. I start daydreaming about Christmas and singing carols loudly and with much enthusiasm. I am a person who loves the holidays both in theory and in practice, and I hope I am able to teach Wiggle to practice loving the holidays too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

CHRISTMAS!

Tonight we went to Fairfax Corner for their tree lighting ceremony. Wiggle was blown away by the huge tree. I thought it would feel to early for Christmas stuff, but with a tree obsessed toddler in tow, listening to Christmas carols and seeing Santa the week before Thanksgiving felt perfectly natural.
We walked around the shops and got the obligatory, oops, I mean complimentary, Santa hat.


We also went on a carriage ride around the square. For some reason I totally forgot to take any pictures of the horses or the carriage, but here are a couple of us on the ride.
Trust me, Wiggle and I are looking at the rear ends of two huge horses
Wiggle, not psyched about pictures, because it interfered with horse watching
And the best shot...
Our first Christmas family photo
It was a blast. Afterward, we went to Potbelly where Wiggle scarfed down half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some vanilla malt. He was in heaven. Santa was there, but we felt that after the carriage ride, it would just be too much to stand in line again. Plus, we kind of need to do a Santa primer for Wiggle, because as of now, he has no idea who he is. It's going to be so fun. I can't believe how excited I am about Christmas stuff now. I mean, I have always liked Christmas a lot, so I didn't really know that I could be more into it. 

Yesterday, C and I went out for Ethiopian food in Alexandria. (Can I mention how much I love swapping babysitting with our neighbors?) The place, Enat, was in a small strip mall, and if we didn't know we were going there, we would never have stopped there on our own. It was delicious. Definitely the best Ethiopian I've ever had. The place was small, but nice, and very friendly. We were the only non-Ethiopians in the restaurant the entire time, I think. I will definitely go back.

On the way home, C and I decided to drive through Arlington for a bit to look at neighborhoods. We drove through some amazing old neighborhoods with streets that had names like Vacation Lane. The houses were beautiful and so expensive I would have start printing my own money now to be able to afford one ten years from now. It was nice to look though, and we enjoyed just driving around a different area of NoVa. I can't believe we are getting to go out so frequently right now. It will probably drop off around the holidays because everyone's schedules fill up, but right now, it feels fantastic.

Tomorrow, the boy gets a tree for his room. I can hardly wait.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Going Uphill

Yesterday, Wiggle fell asleep on the way home from a late morning playgroup, but I woke him up when I was changing his diaper before I put him down for his nap. I thought he was still going to go down, so I sat outside of his room as I normally do, and waited for him to fall asleep. Then it got quiet; not asleep quiet, but "oh, crap" quiet. I opened the door to check on him, and found this.
He had absconded with the pen earlier in the day and apparently hid it.
He eventually went down around 5 o'clock; we had to wake him up at 6:30 pm, so he wouldn't be up all night. Some days are crazy.
Today we went to our last music class of the session. We start up again in two weeks though, so it's only a short break. Then he had a nap, while I worked my abs on a video. When he woke up, we had lunch and then went our for our first "jog" in the jogging stroller. I ran whenever I could, but these hills are killing me. Both up and down are hard to maneuver with a stroller. Then he watched a little Nemo while I made couscous stuffed peppers for dinner. The stroller was great; lightweight and easy to navigate. 
In the middle of our walk we went to a park where Wiggle played in the sandbox.



How did he get so grown up?
He's also started requesting songs by title. He'd done it for awhile with the music on his mp3 player, but now he's started with things we hear on Pandora. The other day he asked for "Monkeys!" C and I thought and thought and suggested any monkey related song we knew, but he refused them all. He also told us that it was "green." He had apparently looked at the album cover that had come up when the song was playing and remembered it. We managed to find the song - a version of "5 monkeys jumping on the bed," by chance, but it was a lucky find to be sure. I seriously can't keep up with him sometimes. The boy blows my mind nearly every day,


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jogging Ahead

I got a jogging stroller today! It's a totally awesome Kelty Joyrider -lightweight, folds compactly, two cupholders. I've been looking on craigslist for awhile, but the stars didn't align until today. I will try to go for my first run tomorrow. I'm really excited!

I went to the gym tonight and climbed the stairclimber for 15 minutes. Ugh! I pretty much hated that. But it was worth it to come home and eat sweet potato and shrimp enchiladas. My dad has requested that I start including recipes for my awesome dinners, and I am happy to oblige. Generally, I use recipes from epicurious.com, and when that is the case as it was tonight, I will just post a link to the recipe. I skimped a little on the sauce, and it was a mistake, so next time I will buy a bigger can of salsa verde for sure. The parsnips and sweet potatoes rock though. I highly recommend it.
Before cooking; it looked even better after
Broke my tv ban tonight to watch last week's episode of Parenthood. Totally worth it after tonight's workout.
The face of a boy who just realized he can take pictures of himself with my phone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Americana

On Sunday, we went into the District to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Museum of American Art. We met our old friend, Red Hawk (think politics, not nature), who lives in DC, but whom we see much to little of, at the museum.

We weren't allowed to take any photos in the exhibit, but I was not all that wowed. They had a lot of famous pieces by Rockwell, but few of them portrayed family, which is what I think of most when I think of him. It was still a nice exhibit, but I preferred the bits of the National Portrait Gallery that we saw. There are apparently two other floors of portraits, so I guess it's good that we live only half an hour away. I really love free museums!

Afterward, we went to get a cup of tea, and Wiggle had a mango lassi, which he wouldn't share with either his dad or me.
Wiggle doesn't trust him for a minute.
Red Hawk entertained him with the light saber app on his Iphone. The boy figured it out right away and was hooked. Next he'll be giving him Star Trek toys.

Today we did the First Haircut. I had debated going to a place called Cartoon Cuts in the mall, but a surprising number of reviews on yelp mentioned kids' ears getting cut, so they exited the running fairly early in the game. I decided instead to go to an old-time barber shop that a woman in our playgroup recommended. I think it was definitely the right choice. They had birds and an aquarium with fish to look at while we were waiting.

Wiggle had to sit on two booster seats so that he would be tall enough. When we propped him up on the seat, he was upset that his feet wouldn't reach the footrest at the bottom of the chair. They also had a big tv and put on cartoons for him during the cut.
The Shaggy Boy
The woman who cut his hair was very nice and quite good with him, but she did take a long time, which I was prepared for because the woman from our playgroup had mentioned it.
Getting started
The first cut
Resting on Daddy's arm and taking some M&M's to make it through
The Haircut
Checking the results
Afterward, C got a haircut too, and both my boys went from chic to geek - that is until we tousled them up a bit and realized that they were still my chic boys. I'm still mourning Wiggle's long locks a little, but he does look pretty grown up with his big boy hair now.

After some other errands, I was scheduled to go to the gym, but was dragging my feet about it. I managed to change into my gym clothes, but was hanging around talking to C as he was giving Wiggle a bath, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My first thought? "Damn! I look good!" Yes, I actually thought "Damn!" and two exclamation points. It's only been a week of my ramped up exercise and healthy eating plan, and I could see a difference. I look a little sleeker, well, let's be honest, maybe not sleek, but less lumpy to be sure! I hightailed it to the gym and had my best run yet. Plus, I made a plan with Red Hawk to run a 10k in April, and I'm getting a used jogging stroller tomorrow, so I have both motivation and an extra tool to get me to my goal. 

Tonight, I could have watched TV again, but I didn't. So far, I still really like it without it. I feel less anxious about what I have to do. I don't even think I'm getting that much more done, but I'm more aware of what's on my plate, so I feel more like I have a handle on it. Change is good; I like change, when I initiate it, especially. Another week of the eating changes, and I will get to re-evaluate to see if I want to stick with this, or go a different route. 

Oh yeah - we are already Christmas tree crazy at our house. Wiggle would spend hours in the tree aisle at Target if we let him. I haven't gotten him one for his room yet, but will as soon as they have the small ones in stock again. And he wants colored lights to C's great dismay. I prefer white lights too, but I totally see the appeal from his point of view. After all, he doesn't even know about ornaments yet. 

I did get this awesome advent calendar though. Someday I will make one that has special significance for us, but in the meantime, this one for $2.50 will do. I think it's really cute, don't you?



Saturday, November 13, 2010

Note to self

Try to write your blog posts earlier in the day, so they don't sound so much like a mishmash of random notes to self from throughout your day.

Thank you.

Me

No Nap

Today C and I wandered around like zombies for most of the morning. We had gone out to dinner and a movie last night, and when we got home around 12:30 am and had been talking to the neighbor who watched Wiggle, he woke up. I got him back down around 2:00 am, but he was still up bright and early at 5:30 this morning. Luckily for me, C took the first morning shift, so I slept until 7, and then C went back to bed for a bit. Around 11 we went to Costco. I thought it was perfect timing, and Wiggle would be ready for a nap when we got home. He gorged himself on a variety of samples and half a hot dog there, and was clearly exhausted when we got home, but he would not go down. We waited for an hour, but he wasn't even close. I hate when he misses his nap.

At 3:30 we had a playdate at one of the neighborhood tot lots with a new little boy who is two days older than Wiggle. Another neighbor boy was there too, as was his buddy with whom we swap sitting. The four boys romped around the playground for an hour and a half or so. While they all had a good time, I think my little Wiggle might be a bit of a bully. Not to sound like that mother, but he's really not a mean bully, he's just an overly excited bully. He was going around giving everyone high-fives, but if you didn't put your hand up, he high-fived your face. I normally think of a bully as a thug, and Wiggle certainly isn't that, but he has definite ideas about how things should go, and he's willing to, uh, "help" you to see how they should go.
Today was very successful regarding his responses to time-outs, so I have some hope that we will be able to cut down the hitting very soon. If we don't, we just might become the family on the block that everyone talks about behind their backs.
After the playdate, I went to the gym and C took Wiggle to the store to pick up some ingredients for dinner. I tried to run, but I had run yesterday, plus I had had so little sleep that my legs felt like lead, so I did the stationary bike instead. I have managed to workout every day this week, which is awesome!

After C picked me up and we got home, we tried to give Wiggle some dinner, but he only wanted to snuggle on Daddy, so we opted for bedtime instead. C was going to give Wiggle a bath, so he went into the bathroom to run some water, and told Wiggle to start taking off his clothes in his room. By the time C got back into the room, Wiggle was alseep in his crib. Talk about tired - I don't know if that has ever happened before. C managed to convince him that a new diaper and some pajamas were a good idea, but then he was right out again.

For dinner, I had bought some salmon from Costco. I can't remember the last time I cooked salmon, but it really hit the spot tonight. Of course, since we got it at Costco, it's going to hit the spot again tomorrow too.
Salmon with a star anise and tomato sauce, lentils with tomatoes, cucumbers, and goat cheese, and, of course, kale.
While I certainly don't mind eating like this - it's been delicious, I still hate having to be so conscious about what I'm eating. It will get easier once I have more recipes in the hopper without pasta or rice, so I can think about them ahead of time and look forward to them. 

Tomorrow, we are meeting a friend in the District at the Museum of American Art to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. C said it will look like we lifted Wiggle from one of the pictures. Our little all-American boy. There will be pictures, I promise.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stargazing

Thursdays are my toughest days. C is gone until 10 pm, and although we generally have music class in the morning, that 45 minutes of structured time just doesn't do it for the day. Today though, Wiggle woke me up at 5:30 am saying "hun-gry," and when that didn't work he put his little face to mine and whined "HUN-GRY!" So I got up and fed the little boy milk and three eggs scrambled with a couple of sauteed mushrooms grated in for good measure.

Turns out we didn't have music class today, so the morning eked on with several time outs for running with knitting needles (that project I had "on the needles?" It's off the needles now), and for refusing to clean up his blocks after dumping them and wanting to move on to the next activity. Then I worked out during his nap; yes, that's right, I have managed to get some On Demand workout shows in, which has had the immediate result of rendering me useless from the waist down from too many squats and lunges.

His latest phrase is "Ever!" which means "Never!"

Me: Are you going to put your pants on?
W: No. Ever.
Me: Do you want to go to the playground?
W: (when feeling surly) Ever!
Me: Hungry? Tired? Play with blocks? Get a diaper change? Clean up? Give me a kiss?
W: Ever.

You get the idea. It's all about the attitude at our house right now, and the boy has it in spades.
We did have some sweet snuggles after he got up from his nap and was still groggy.
My sleepy boy
This evening we went to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items for dinner. When we were in the parking lot, he pointed to an airplane and said "star." It was flying low enough that you could see multiple lights and that it was moving, so I pointed those things out and said that, no, it was an airplane. I then pointed to the two meager stars we could see from the parking lot. He was having a little trouble seeing them, so I asked him if he wanted to go look at stars when we got home. As you might imagine, he answered in the affirmative. When we got home, I walked him up the hill to the empty field behind our house. We could see tons of stars. He pointed to a bunch of them, but then I think the dark empty space around us started to make him uneasy because he said "back in" and he wouldn't walk, preferring to be carried instead.

I really kind of wish we had a telescope because the moon has been looking awesome lately, and he's so interested in stars. I know though, that he's still too young, really, to close one eye and look through a lens. But it's yet another thing to look forward to.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Productive

Today I managed to vacuum, get three fillings, workout, and make dinner all before 5 o'clock. It felt a little weird.
I made dinner early because I got to go to knitting tonight, and I didn't want to stick C with making dinner two nights in a row. We had a Moroccan stew with butternut squash and carrot over quinoa. It was delicious, and even better it's the kind of thing into which you can throw whatever vegetables you have on hand. Definitely, a keeper.
It was great to be able to go to knitting again. The group I had found met on Thursday nights, and C teaches then, so I couldn't go at all once the semester started. The group leader is having a long recovery from Lyme disease, one of the definite negatives to living in our wooded wonderland, and stepped down as leader; the new leader moved the group to Wednesdays, which is why I can start going again. Yea!
I started a scarf tonight. I don't really know how I feel about the yarn or the pattern, but I like having something on the needles, so it accomplished my first goal. It made me miss tv a little though. I normally knit while I watch tv, and I was excited to knit more when I got home, so the urge to watch was there. Luckily, dinner, listening to some music, and talking to C made the urge pass almost unnoticed.
I've been trying to decide what classes/activities Wiggle and I are going to do next semester, and I'm thinking about switching music classes. Right now we are in Musikgarten right up the hill, which is cheap and convenient, but I don't like it nearly as much as I liked Music Together in Chicago. The downside if we switch is that it would be further away and it's more expensive, but the upshot is that I like the music a lot more, which matters a bunch if you are listening to the CD's ad nauseum. Also, I would get to meet a new set of parents. I've met a lot of very nice people so far, but none of them are my people. Maybe a different class would yield a different set of parents.
I guess I didn't realize how lucky I was in Chicago with a built-in best friend for me and for Wiggle right downstairs! It's definitely going to take a little more work on my part here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 2

So it's the end of my second day without any tv, and it feels both good and bad. It's good in that I don't miss the tv at all; I know I will really want to veg out one of these evenings, but it hasn't happened yet. The bad is that I thought I would have all this extra time, and I don't seem to have even 15 minutes extra. I know that I spent inordinate amounts of time in front of the tv on any given evening, so if I removed that time, I should get some back, no? It turns out, I do have extra time, it just looks different than I thought. I thought I would be twiddling my thumbs so much that I would be able to start some of those projects that I never seem to have time for - organizing my digital photos, planning some knitting projects, reading fiction, reading the New Yorker. It turns out what my "extra" time is spent doing is eating dinner with my husband, spending an extra few minutes cleaning up after dinner, an extra few minutes at the gym, and going to bed before one am. It does feel better than before, but I'm beginning to realize why parents feel like they never have enough time; it just gets eaten away at by the everyday things. Now am I really complaining that I got to sit down with my husband and eat this -
Chicken breast with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and yogurt sauce with kale and eggplant.
and have a nice conversation about our days over a glass of wine? Or am I complaining that I was able to get to the gym and get a good run in while C made dinner? No, I am not. I am just surprised. I had an idea of where my time would be going and now it's different. 
The test to see if I'm really committed to this is whether I'm willing to wake up earlier in the mornings to workout. Right now, I am not that committed, but I will need to get there for this to work.  

In Wiggle news - C was giving him his bath tonight and asked him if he wanted to stay in the bath and play with his toys or get out and put on his pajamas. The reply - "More choices!" It turns out he wanted to swim and blow bubbles. This boy is outwitting me at every angle.
He has also begun asking us to read books "again" and "again" and "again." His favorites right now are Where the Wild Things Are and Inch by Inch. I read Inch by Inch over 15 times today, and C read it 5 or 6 times. It's a good thing he has, so far, focussed on good books.

We had playgroup today and he charmed a number of people with his stylish outfit.
I think it's the hat.
I also managed to lose him today in a closed room. You might think I'm a bad parent because of this, or you might need to watch this video.
video

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turning a New Leaf

Today is the first day of my one-week long television ban. I'm not gonna lie - the urge to turn on the tube after I made dinner was strong, but I managed to resist. Because I like to turn pebbles into avalanches, I am also trying, actively, to lose some weight starting this week. I still don't have it in me to count calories, or even to keep a food diary at this point, but there will be some changes. Basically, I'm cutting out bread and pasta, but not all carbs, as I'm keeping things like beans and lentils, and some whole grains. I'm cutting out all soda and such, which I don't drink all the time, but when I do, I tend to binge. Otherwise, I'm going to try and eat three meals a day with a couple of snacks, and try to load the meals with as many fruits and veggies as I can. Tonight for dinner we had, chicken sausages sauteed up with a bunch of mushrooms, onions, and some cannellini beans. Then I put that on top of some green lentils and kale. On the side - roasted cauliflower and a green salad. How's that for veggie packed?
Breakfast is all set too. I have oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, and ground flax seeds. I think I would probably still prefer eggs, but the oatmeal is instant, and for this morning-averse mommy, instant is key.
I will have to figure out a way to get more workout time in somehow. On Saturday morning, I took Wiggle for a walk in his stroller, but it's a rare day, anymore, that I can count on him to be content while riding around. Maybe I can try to do some cardio at home? I have no problem violating my tv ban for workout videos. We'll see.
It felt like the motor turned over today; it was a small shift, but perceptible to be sure. Now to make a plan...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I've been in major avoidance mode lately. The house is a mess, I'm tired all the time, I'm watching wayyyyy too much tv; it sucks. I think I've been avoiding my grad school apps. I think I will implement a no TV week to try and set things straight.
I did manage to get one floor clean today, but that means there are still two to go. Ugh. While vacuuming today, Wiggle spent most of the time actually between my legs, or trying to drive his walker on top of the vacuum. It makes things challenging, to say the least.
C has offered me a free weekend next weekend, but I need to figure out what to do with it. I want to keep the cost down as much as possible, but I still want to do something fun. I'll have to look into it more this week.
Happy, happy, happy
A man surveying his vast M&M empire
Climbing in the cold
Seriously, I need to get him to wear some mittens!
My handsome date for Saturday night

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today and Tomorrow

Wiggle has started to talk about today and tomorrow. I told him that we would play with his friend from down the block "tomorrow" and he insisted that we should play with him "today." Then tonight he asked to paint and I said we couldn't today because it was time for bed, so he said "yeah, ok. Paint tomorrow."

Even though I managed to go out and get a haircut this morning, which felt awesome, I didn't get anything else done today. I don't even know what I did do today, all of a sudden it was time for dinner. Hopefully, tomorrow will go a little more smoothly.

Maybe I'll manage to take a picture or two tomorrow as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Few Things

On the Wiggle front - my previously picky toddler has become my little foodie again this week. For weeks now I feel like his diet has consisted of pizza (admittedly homemade, but still), hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, bananas, and milk. We would get some tastes in of other things and a few vegetables would get in there due to my constant pushing, but mostly he delighted in saying "No." I know this is developmentally appropriate, but, come on, who turns down raspberries? Or sweet potatoes in yogurt with honey and cinnamon? Or anything green, except peas? A 2 1/2-year-old girl's mom's comment that her daughter had not eaten anything new in a year started to haunt me. C and I love food, was my son going to be someone who throws a hamburger out a second story window because it has mayo on it? (True story, btw.) Then this week with the promise of M&M's from Halloween as an incentive to even try something new, we turned a corner. For lunch yesterday, Wiggle had two helpings of ma po dofu, a very earthy, somewhat spicy, Szechuan dish. I couldn't believe it. He also devoured the dry-fried green beans and eggplant that C made to accompany the dofu. Today, he ate pastitsio, a sort of Greek lasagna, for lunch and dinner. I love pastitsio, but it is made with ground lamb which has fairly overpowering smell; he just kept munching it and munching it. I should say though, that neither dish seemed to compete with M&M's current top position in his food hierarchy. He holds them, sings to them, counts them, sorts them by color, picks them up and lets them rain down on the table; they are perhaps the best candy to give to a toddler ever. I'm not a big candy advocate, but at least it's easy to portion control the discrete pieces, and he gets a little learning in during the half hour it takes him to eat his 10-12 pieces. Last night he had peanut M&M's, which he called "biggers MnMs." While eating the last one, he really took his time, he sucked the candy off, and then bit into the peanut, leaving half an M&M on the table. C and I looked at each other, puzzled. Why would he leave half an M&M? Then he asked for "More!" When we said that he had already had one bag and that was it for tonight, he sulked for 5 seconds, and then took the last half and popped it in his mouth with a big grin. Talk about managing his own disappointment!

Also, while trying to brush his teeth tonight, he was refusing to open his mouth, and I was reiterating that we have to brush teeth every night - then, he said "timeout?" I said that I hadn't mentioned timeout, but he kept saying it, so I asked him if he wanted a timeout, and he said "yeah." Now, based on the fact that he did not, in fact, sit for his timeout, I think his mentioning it was a ploy to move out of the bathroom, so he could make a break for it. Does that make me cynical? Does it make him an evil genius? Does it make me a bad parent to think it's kind of awesome if my 21-month-old is an evil genius? The boy definitely has some skills.

In other news, I miss the Co-op grocery store, or Treasure Island. Things I haven't been able to find in our grocery stores? Chipotles, porcini mushrooms, ground lamb, muir glen tomatoes, liquor. And even my costco is letting me down, I was there yesterday for my weekly bulk cheese run (don't worry, it's not the same cheese each week, we just run out of them at different rates/times), and they didn't have emmantaler or gruyere. We had already been disappointed with Trader Joe's version of each - very rubbery. Chicago was a really, really good food city, and while we have a lot of things here, I'm not really going to drive to 15 different ethnic supermarkets each week, or even month, to get my basic supplies. At least we're not in Norman, OK. Or someplace like it. No offense to Norman, per se, but I'm betting I wouldn't find their local supermarkets adequate. We do have one facny-schmancy supermarket, but it's a little far and on the weekends it gets so crowded you cannot find a space in their giganormous parking lot. Admittedly, I can generally go on a weekday, but if it's the place to get that last ingredient, mon Dieu! Maybe I should just keep trying supermarkets and then look at real estate near the best one. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

November!?!

How did it get to be November? I know it was Halloween yesterday, but I really wasn't prepared for it to be November today. C will be going to Montreal this weekend for a "conference," so I will have the boy by myself for a few days. I jest about C, but he does get to gallivant around with a bunch of his friends in an awesome city for 3 days. Do I sound jealous? Because, I just want to be clear -  I am.

Wiggle has been doing some crazy cute things lately. Last night, he had some M&M's from his Halloween candy. He had one in each hand and was singing and talking about their colors when he handed an orange one to C. C was on the phone with a friend and absentmindedly popped it in his mouth. Wiggle was dumbfounded. At first, I thought he was upset that C had eaten his M&M, but when Wiggle quickly popped the other one into his mouth and started to grin, I realized that he hadn't known you could eat them. He thought they were beads! He then enthusiastically ate the rest of the miniature bag, until he got to the last one. He must have held onto the last one for 20 minutes. Tonight after dinner he got another bag, and C said he danced and sang songs to each and every M.

Cute thing #2,670,321 - He would mix "Happy Birthday!" into his "Happy Halloween!" greetings yesterday. He's only ever been to one birthday party, but somehow "Happy Birthday" got in there.