Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This morning I am so thankful for the Baby Bjorn and coffee. Little Lady and I both have colds and congestion doesn't go over well with a 7 week old. *Yawn*

I'm also thankful for credit cards. And not why you think. Last night when I went to check on Little Man before trudging off to bed, his door was locked. I grabbed the mangled paper clip we keep on hand for such occasions and walked back to his door. Huh. He has a different knob. I'd never noticed it before now, but he has a real lock on his door. Like you need a key- that we don't have- to open it. It is a hearty knob, like it is made for an outside door. Huh.

Well, I think, I'll just bang on the door and wake him up and make him unlock the door. Um, yeah. My kid could sleep through a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant. I banged on his door so hard I was afraid of breaking it. I screamed his name at the top of my lungs multiple times. I wouldn't be surprised if the neighbors heard me. I knew he was a sound sleeper, but this is ridiculous. You know what else is ridiculous? Me.

I broke out an old credit card and spent 20 minutes jamming it into the door lock. I had to use two screw drivers and a pair of pliers to help it along. I'm praying I don't break the door for the second time in an hour and it doesn't seem like it will ever work. And then it does. Click and open. Whew. Of course the sassy offender is fast asleep in his bed, looking like an angel without his wings. I went over and kissed him and then I unscrewed his doorknob.

This afternoon, Little Man has his second wrestling match. Hopefully he'll win a match. Lord knows he slept enough last night.

Monday, March 26, 2012


The eagles are back. If you look closely, you may be able to see the eagle. I took this picture last Tuesday. There was still quite a bit of ice, but it melted quickly.

This was the water Saturday morning.

And this is the water today.

The ice looks officially out! A full month earlier than normal.

Hubs actually jumped in on Sunday after a jog. It was still pretty slushy. There were a few screams, but he insists it was refreshing. It sure was amusing!

The loons are back, too.

It is great to see them, but I'm really looking forward to hearing them. The haunting call of the loons is one of my most favorite sounds.

The squirrels are actively driving the dogs insane.

Mmmmm, Spring. Welcoming back the flora and fauna is such a treat.

Saturday we took Little Lady for her first real hike. She slept right through it in the Bjorn. Little Man is fast becoming a little John Muir. We hiked for two hours and he was happy as a clam to walk in the woods. The only thing he wasn't happy about was the ticks. They are out, too.

It was a warm, beautiful day and we enjoyed getting out into the woods for a nice hike. I didn't bring the camera, but it was lovely. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze to cool us on the hilly trail. The ground was covered in fragrant leaves, green shoots, and gooey mud. The birds were singing, the wood peckers were hammering the trees. The pussy willows looked like tiny silver bells adorning the branches. Everything is coming alive again.

Robert Byrne says that "Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." If that is true, Spring must be nature's way of making amends. This year, she is delivering.

We are cold again this week, with temperatures dipping below freezing at night. But winter has been all but banished up north and we are reveling in the opportunities to enjoy nature.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dinner and A Story

I haven't written about food in a while and it isn't because I'm not cooking. I'm still cooking and baking a decent amount, I just haven't taken pictures. The cooking usually isn't a problem with Little Lady; it is the actually getting to eat that is difficult at times. Getting to eat while rocking and not spilling on her head, now that is a challenge.

Even though I don't have pictures, here a few things we've enjoyed lately. Spinach stuffed chicken Parmesan, hot lava cake- and it was so worth the calories, Thai peanut pizza, Strip steak with a burgundy sauce, Philly cheese steaks on homemade rolls with the leftover steak, creamy white bean Tuscan pasta...the list goes on and on and I'd have to look at my Pinterest account to remember everything. Love that Pinterest for food! It is almost a good as my Cooks Illustrated Cookbook.

Last night I made a quinoa cooked with beer, mushrooms, and onions. I had never had quinoa because it seems really expensive in the grocery store. But I got a package of it for my birthday, we tried it, and it was really good. Yes, ingredients and cooking supplies are highly sought after gifts in this household. Right up there with Mrs. Meyer's geranium scented laundry detergent. Seriously. But back to the food. The quionoa was pretty good! Little Man wasn't a fan, which surprised me; he just picked out and ate all the mushrooms and begged for my portion of the side dish, which I selfishly wouldn't share.

The side dish was roasted beets and sweet potatoes tossed in fresh basil and goat cheese. It was so good. I could eat that all day long. And so could Little Man. Love the colors, too. Aren't you glad I remembered to take a few bad pictures? :) We can't all be Kelle Hamptons...

This morning I stayed up after the 5 am feeding with Little Lady and made Irish soda bread muffins for breakfast. It was such a great morning. The smells of coffee and muffins permeated the house, we had time to eat and get dressed without rushing. Great way to start the day.

And then I brought Little Man's clothes into the bathroom so he could get dressed and went to flush the urinal since he is incapable of flushing. Yes, I did say urinal, but let's save that story for another day. He's five and doesn't flush, no big surprise, right? Anyway, the pee was bright red. Bright red! I gasped and loudly exclaimed "Holy Crap!" and then started in with the twenty questions about how he was feeling, etc. as I rushed around the house looking for my phone so I could call Hubs, who conveniently just finished a Urology rotation. Having a doc around the house is handy! I went from relaxed to quite frazzled in about 2 seconds as I racked my brain trying to figure out just what the heck was wrong with my son. Agghhh!!!

And then I remembered we had beets for dinner. Aahhh.

Just in case you forgot, St. Patrick's Day is Saturday. Most towns have parades, most pubs have green beer, most houses have green food coloring that can be added to milk, cookies, pancakes, etc. When we were little, my mom would put a few drops of green food coloring in the bottom of the cereal bowl and put the cereal in the bowl. Then when we sat down to eat, she would pour in the white milk which would magically turn green! It was so cool. Even in high school...

We do St. Patrick's Day. It is our holiday and we do it right. Last year I wrote about how it feels to me like it belongs to Jameson and it still does. Celebrating all things Irish is celebrating the life of my sweet Irish Prince.

So Saturday, wear a little green, eat a little green, sing Whiskey in the something Irish in honor of my boy. We will be living it up and celebrating him all weekend long. I even got new socks.


Monday, March 12, 2012


What a weekend! Spring has sprung in Northern Minnesota and we had a great weather weekend. It was warm! It was sunny! It was muddy! On Saturday Little Man played outside almost all day in just a sweatshirt. Hubs studied outside. I went for a really long walk with Little Lady in the Bjorn and then sat on the deck soaking up the sun.

Sunday was much the same. We brought Little Lady to church for the first time. Hubs made us sit in the cry room just in case she started to tune it up. The family sitting right behind us had the *cutest* two year girl with Down syndrome. I stared. Rudely. I was a freaky stranger, smiling and crying, staring at this beautiful little girl who walked just like J, sat just like J, snuggled into her mommy's arms just like J snuggled into mine. It made me so happy and so sad at the same time. I missed him so much in that moment. It felt like it tore open the black hole in my chest and I was so overcome with grief that I thought I was going to vomit right there in the middle of mass. I cried. And sniffled. And choked back a few sobs. Good thing we were in the cry room. After the service I introduced myself to the dad so he would understand why there was crazy lady holding a newborn, crying and staring at his daughter. Going to church always brings out the best in me.

After church, the boys went ice fishing, which was a wet endeavor. The snow has almost all melted on the lake, but the ice is still about two feet thick, so there is almost a pond on top of the frozen lake. But is was warm and the boots did their job. Sunday night we had our neighbors over for pizza. I was scrambling a bit in the afternoon to get the dough going, clean the house, and deal with Little Lady, but it all worked out. I really wanted to make a chocolate lava cake, but Little Lady decided to power eat and I didn't have enough time to make the pizza sauce and the cake. My personal choice was for making the cake, but I figured our guests probably wouldn't want chocolate pizza for dinner...

I'm making a lava cake today.

Hmm, chocolate the wheels are turning. I'll work on that one.

But back to that lava cake. The crusty, brownie-like exterior, the warm, gooey chocolate center. I'm starting to drool. It will be the perfect way to end a rainy Monday. I woke up this morning to feed Little Lady and thought I heard rain falling. It was such a nice sound. Rain. That means it is too warm to be snow. Spring. Ahhh. What a nice thought to start the morning.

And then I fell back asleep. And overslept the alarm. And barely had time to get Little Man up and dressed and out the door. And then I couldn't find the umbrella. And then I grabbed Little Man's snow pants and boots from the vents to get him ready. Sigh. Do you remember how I told you that fishing was a wet endeavor? And that it was really warm over the weekend? Yeah. Guess what? Boots and snow pants will only dry on the vents if the heat turns on! Sopping wet. Awesome.

Thank goodness I found the firefighter galoshes right next to the umbrella in the darkest corner of the mudroom in record time. We made it to the bus stop. Little Lady stayed dry. The snow pants got shoved into the backpack with stern reminders to hang them up at school so they dry before recess. He's gonna be soaked. At least I didn't accidentally put my cell phone in his coat pocket again this morning. That was Friday.

Happy Monday and Happy Spring!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pink Explosion

It has been just over three weeks and I still find myself looking at Little Lady and thinking "holy crap, we have a daughter!" I've been a "boy mom" for almost six years now, lived in an all-male household for the past ten years, and been a tomboy myself for 30+ years. This whole girl thing is wild to me.

Yet, while I fully intend to raise her in muddy blue jeans and tractor T's, I've gotta say, the pink explosion that has taken over our mailbox is growing on me. We have pink elephants and bunnies, polka dots and ruffles, bonnets and bloomers, and even shoes! My washing machine looks like an Easter basket on laundry day. And I love it.

Little Man loves it, too. He likes to sing songs about her being his valentine, he wants to hold her and kiss her all.of.the.time, and he's still a little upset that he can't marry her someday. My boy is such a great big brother and he makes me swoon with his sweetness.

I love to kiss her too. She has this light brown peach fuzz on her head, she smells like lavender and vanilla, and is so delicious it is hard to not kiss her. I still can't put her down for very long. Although, the initial euphoria has dissipated and fatigue has completely set in, so putting her down at night is nice.

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you all have a great weekend! This is what we are looking forward to this weekend:
Sleeping in.
Olive oil and rosemary cake with lemon curd.
Sunshine and snow.