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spring break

Spring is here and I could not be more excited. (Even if it’s still raining.)

And we had the busiest week ever:

1. We had our first sunny and warm day of the year so we got outside and kicked the yard’s ass. I even got a jump-start on our garden: begonias, peas, strawberries, and artichokes (so far.)  

2.  My oldest friend came for a visit with her daughter to spend spring break with us. And we had so much fun: The arcade,  zoo, voodoo donuts, the rainy-rainy coast, and saturday market. Yummy food. Staying up late gossiping and watching Jesus Camp (because that’s much worse, or better, than any scary movie) and Archer. Two more sunny days that didn’t go to waste. And Eric started on her half sleeve:

Jealous? I totally am.

3. A much (much) needed night out and too many vodka gimlets. At least it was for a good cause: Tsunami relief.

4. The Danger-man killed me because he’s hilarious!

“knock knock.” ‘
who’s there?’
“Star wars”
‘Star wars who?’
“let me think about it…”

“Hey, you know what? Girls are gooder than me..”

5. I celebrated my blogaversary. (not really celebrated but, you know, it happened.) And since my first ever post was about april fool’s day I should share this year’s events with you. The Danger-man and I made cupcakes and decided to pull a prank on Eric. The plan was for the Danger-man to take his iced & sprinkled cupcake to Eric, offer it to him, then say “April Fools.” Nothing as crazy as a squirrel in the kitchen…  Too bad Eric was asleep on the couch when we put our plan in effect. His brain was all fussy and he was a bit slow on the uptake when the Danger-man shouted “April Fools” so, he didn’t give the cupcake back. Instead he took a bite. And the world ended. (Or at least that is what it sounded like from the kitchen.)   

the danger-man says he's now "the sprinkle-man!"

And now my spring break is here and I need to start preparing for the Danger-man’s 5th birthday. (Holy crap…he’s going to be five this month!) 

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wordless wednesday

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adventures in grocery shopping

My car has needed some repairs for quite some time. Something about gaskets. Or, radiators maybe. Those things are in cars, I think. Not my forte. Or Eric’s, for that matter. I’ll just say it needed a major repair, we wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t do it, and a giant repair bill fell far below things like rent, utilities, groceries and textbooks on our lists of priorities so the repairs were put on the back burner for a while. (This life as a stay at home mom/college student is not without its sacrifices.) Apparently, it was still driveable but, I worry too much for that.  I’d be lying if I said, I wasn’t bummed that I couldn’t drive it but, we got by easily enough as a one car family before the Pea arrived. Honestly, working with one car again wasn’t so terrible; especially, since  the rose city has an amazing public transportation system that I truly don’t mind using. (It’s so funny how much of a treat kids think it is to ride the city bus, but I digress). 

The time without a car of my own, actually made me second guess the whole 2nd car thing. Again. I mean, with the price of gas it took us a while to come to the conclusion that we needed two car’s in the first place. It wasn’t until I became a SAHM, the Danger-man had preschool or mid-day playdates, and we had another infant that we finally bit the bullet.  I’m thinking the next time a major repair comes up I’ll convince Eric I need one of these instead:

Seriously, I need one.

Of course, I’ll invest in some helmets too.  But again, I digress. And, I’ve learned that I only really need a car for is grocery shopping. We do live with-in walking distance of two grocery stores.  There’s just no way I’m walking to the store with two kids in tow just to lug some groceries back in this perpetual rain.  The only problem is: Eric’s dream car, our 1970 VW bus is a little emotional. She (er, I mean it) acts like a scorned lover whenever I’m behind the wheel.  So, for the past few months our grocery shopping has either been done by Eric or as a family. And, it’s nice having a chauffeur. (I kid.)

Now, my car is finally fixed. (Hallelujah!–is that blasphemy? And, I’m not even going to mention how much it set us back because it’s downright depressing.) So, today I decided to do a practice run at the grocery store sans husband. We didn’t need much, just enough to let me test the waters and get back in the swing of things. I’ve mentioned I’m a worrier, right? And slightly insane? To me grocery stores are littered with kidnappers. Even the little old ladies who want to fawn all over babies seem unsafe. With Eric around, I allow myself to relax my white knuckle grip on the cart. I even allow the Danger-man to frolic around near us rather than cooped up in the cart with groceries piled on top of him. I let older gentlemen call my son sport and my daughter sweetie whilst their wives pinch their cubby cheeks. You know, rather than trying to ram them out of the way with my shopping cart while screaming “stranger danger”. I’m not normally this bat shit crazy when I take my two anywhere else sans the hubs. I think it’s just the distractions that come along with grocery shopping. You know: comparing prices, reading lists, forgetting things… 

Okay, back to today. The kids were seated in their rightful place- in the cart. I glided through the store, surprisingly not as worried about kidnappers (maybe Eric’s rubbing off on me). I still didn’t let go of the cart once. (Babysteps.) I asked the Danger-man what else we need to make egg salad sandwiches. And he replied: “Well, let’s see. We have eggs, bread, and veganaise. So we need mustard, salt and pepper.” I’m still marveling at his response because we had not discussed a list. At all. And he nailed all the ingredients.  Plus, I’ve forgotten to buy salt for a month now and he remind me that we need it. And a woman, with a basket full of kids of her own, standing nearby complimented him on his sheer brilliance. 

Fast forward to the 3 of us looking at herbs for the garden. We had already gotten everything on our list, things were going well (by this I mean nobody tried to pluck my kids out of the cart and stroll off with them), and at this point we were just browsing.  The Danger-man spotted the hummingbird feeders and started to throw a fit because, apparently, he needs one. And, the Pea, usually one to follow her brothers lead, started fussing as well. The same woman from earlier walks by and said: “I knew they weren’t as perfect as they seemed.” Call me crazy but, I still kind of think this was a compliment. I mean, even as their mother, I know they’re certainly are not a perfect as they seem. But still, you think they seemed perfect? Unintentionally or not, that comment totally made my day.

Then the cashier tried to kill my high. She rang up all our junk, moved the rubber divider, and kept on going. When I said something to stop her she scolded me for not using the divider. You know, the one she had to move in order to get to that box of eclairs that we’re most certainly not mine (but, I kinda wish I at least claimed those). Rather than getting mad and defensive I just thought of my [seemingly] perfect kids. See, totally made my day.

And, the best part? Now that my car is fixed we can spend more family time like so:

rather than on aisle 6.


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the post in which I share a recipe

Remember the dinner problem  I wrote about before? 

Well, for the record, the Danger-man is still having a hard time eating consistently. And I have to tell you, it’s hard to be zen like about it when 5 peas “make his mouth too full” (but, he can fit a fist full of corn chips or popcorn or goldfish crackers in there no problem).

 But, I’m happy to report that so far we haven’t buckled and our picky eater seems to finally be coming around. Tonight at dinner he shed actual tears because we didn’t have any leftover tofu (and we wouldn’t let him eat any more of his sisters.) If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.  

And since dinner tonight seemed to be a huge hit, I thought I share the recipe with the world. (Or, you know, the two people who read my blog. Same thing right?)

Easy Peasy Mega-Protein Stir-fry

1c. quinoa
1 1/2 water
bring to a boil
cover and reduce heat to simmer
cook for 15 mins
remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes then fluff
(generally: soak quinoa in water for 10 mins and strain before cooking)

1 lb tofu cut in 1/4″ strips
2 lg Portobello mushrooms cut in 1/4″ strips
2 cloves chopped garlic
olive oil
salt, pepper, seasonings of your choice
saute garlic, mushrooms, and tofu over medium heat until brown
add juice of 1 lime  
add cooked quinoa and stir-fry until mixed well 


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weekly funnies [part 5]

After telling me about his girlfriends:
“I love them SO MUCH I just want to kiss them! I can’t stop kissing them.”

He has a knack for making up knock knock jokes:
“Jamaica… Jamaica me crazy when I smile at you”
And: “Nacho…  Nacho Mama”

Watching the news about the tsunami in Japan:
“I have an idea, we should grab a sword and try to fight the water. There are lots of swords in Japan.”

New nickname for his sister:
Pancake babycakes.


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because what kind of ‘mommy-blog’ would I have without a birth story

Since we’ve just celebrated the Pea’s first birthday her actual birth has been dominating my thoughts lately.  (And, it still feels surreal to me.)

Why save all the goods for the end:

Eloise Sweetpea: 8lbs 8oz
My first pregnancy was like a dream. And I jinxed myself by saying -for 3 straight years- that I loved being pregnant. But, I totally did. The first time around. However, the Pea insisted on giving me a hard time: morning sickness, unexplained aches, horrible round ligament stretching (whatever that means), random painful contractions (no, they were not braxton hicks) and gestational diabetes. Basically, every symptom that I didn’t get to experience the first time. 
We made it to the final week of my pregnancy and it looked like she wanted to hang out a bit longer (just as the Danger-man did).  So, I convinced my mid-wife to induce me. (Yes, I know- babies should get to hang out until they are good and ready. But, I had a 10-pounder the first time around. As a random truck driver so eloquently put it, when inquiring about my huge baby’s stats: “that’s a sack of taters.” With gd it was likely she’d be even bigger and I kind of wanted to avoid a c-section.  But I’m off track.)
Our induction date set for my due-date. Coincidently my favorite midwife would be on duty and it would be our Saturday (so Tuesday). I had my final appointment and went home to wait her out.  But, our pretty Pea- as always- insisted on doing things her own way.

I didn’t bother writing a birth plan because nothing stayed on plan with my first delivery. I thought it would be easier, for my sanity, to just roll with the punches. Well, besides the epidural. I totally banked on having an epidural. I’d already experienced labor pains, and failed at my attempt for a ‘natural’ child-birth. There was no point in pretending I’m tougher than I am.

It’s a bit fuzzy- I’m not sure if I ever feel asleep Sunday night. I went to bed having random painful contractions and timed them for a while. They were super far apart and I thought resting would make them stop. But, at 5:30 the contractions were still rolling in: still random and still painful. And I was sick of staring at the clock. 

Eric woke up to me rustling about in the dark, packing bags for the next morning, and starting timing my contractions.  When he announced they were 5 mins apart, I initially thought he was either: a. full of shit or b. timing them wrong. They had been no closer than 14 minutes the entire night.  But, I put a call into the midwife anyway.

Eric decided I needed a decent breakfast and got busy in the kitchen making eggs and veggie sausage. I went to pee and discovered my bloody show.  Then I got kind of nervous and uncomfortable in the bathroom because I’ve watched way too many episodes of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. So, I finished up in there pronto. 

I called my mom to wake her up so she could watch the Danger-man. She came downstairs to find me mid-contraction and climbing on the coffee table. (Like that would help me escape the pain?) Eric plopped my beautiful breakfast in front of me while I waited for the midwife to call me back.  I didn’t take a single bite.  Not for lack of trying, I just couldn’t sit still. Not even long enough to pick up the fork.

We decided to head for the hospital and hope the midwife called me back before we got there. I didn’t grab my coat and nearly bit Eric’s head on for even suggesting I should. At the time, it seemed like an obviously ludicrous idea.  (I’m sorry, my love!) I sat on my knees, hugging the seat, the 20 or so blocks to our hospital. Judge me if you will, but it was the only way I could stay in my seat, or even in the car. Fight or flight. Eric asked what he could do to help and I responded: don’t fucking touch me. (Again, I’m sorry.) Luckily, he took me at my word. Even though I feel bad about it now, I truly meant it then.

We arrived at the hospital and started navigating the labyrinth to labor and delivery. I stopped short of marking our way with arrows written in red lipstick. I was sure if I did someone or something would poke their head through the floor and turn the arrows around anyway. We stopped every two minutes so I could clutch the wall and power through a contraction.

Luckily, we ran across a security guard who helped to point us in the right direction.  Unluckily, for him, he asked if I needed a wheelchair.  More ludicrous suggestions. This was not a movie; there’s no need to be so dramatic. (My brain might be broken: I will beg for an epidural but I will not be pushed in a wheelchair.)

We made it to labor and delivery and they had a room ready for me. (My midwife DID get my message, even if she never returned the call.) The first thing I asked was how long it would take to get the epidural. The nurse laughed, grabbed a hospital gown and helped me to the bathroom. She closed the door to ‘give me privacy’ and  I nearly screamed though the crack in the door: I don’t want privacy, I want a effing epidural. I have never changed so fast in my life. I couldn’t focus enough to tie the stings in the back. I couldn’t care less. I lost all modesty already, nearly 4 years before.

The clock read 6:30. And, things get fuzzy again. I asked over and over for an epidural. They convinced me to lay down long enough to check my dilation (5 cm) and hook me up to shit: I’m not sure what. But it wasn’t an epidural. At some point I shouted fuck. It shocked my poor nurses, but it felt good so, I said it a few more times. Then I paired it with holy and that became my go to phrase. Eric seemed so far away (he really took me at my word, poor guy.)  My body was shaking uncontrollably. The nurses, tried to hook me up to an IV 4 times and failed each time. (I learned this is vital if you are indeed going to get an epidural.)

My midwife stormed into the room, grabbed a chair and sat down backwards. You know, with her legs spread wide, leaning forward with her arms draped over the back; like she thought she was one of the cool boys in highschool.  And she just watched me. I wanted to punch her in the face. Next, the anesthesiologist arrived and to this day I would swear he was surrounded by the glow of holy light. Until he opened his mouth.

It took me what seems like an eternity to work out I would not actually be getting an epidural. It was too late. Things were happening too fast.  And I refused to get in the bed. Getting in bed would mean giving up. It would mean that I agreed to suffer through this to the end, sans pain relief. And that thought scared the hell out of me. (Like I’ve said, judge me if you will.)

Finally, my midwife spoke: “get in bed right now.” I obeyed but not without begging for a few minutes longer.  The midwife tried to reassure me that this was going to happen a lot faster than I thought. I’m not even gonna lie: I used the line from Knocked Up: I won’t push. The anesthesiologist took his leave with a parting shot: you can do this: you’re already doing this. And I wanted to punch him in the face. The midwife checked me and I was at an 8. It was just before 7:10. My midwife then explained, once she broke my water I’d be fully dilated and ready to push.

I scanned faces for Eric. He looked as terrified as I felt so, I didn’t look at him again.  The t.v. was on (seriously, WTF?) and it kept drawing my eye. It was programmed to the Home Shopping Network. (It’s crazy what I remember clearly and what I don’t, right?) I know this was this was the only clear thought I had in hour: “what kind of masochist watches HSN in the delivery room.” Thankfully, someone turned it off.

My nurse called me back down to reality by saying: “just look into my eyes.”  At first I thought she was nuts. But, I did as she said and I calmed down instantly. She was this tiny, frail, woman with soft looking skin, curly black hair and square framed glasses. And (brace yourself for corniness 3.2.1) the kindest blue eyes. I looked into her eyes and  seriously thought: this is what my Grandma’s eyes would look like if I had a Grandma. Every time I looked away I would start to panic again. So, I just kept looking into her eyes.

My midwife broke my water. I pushed. And, it was such a relief to push so, I kept pushing. I pushed through 3 contractions. This time, I didn’t need any reassurance, knew I was doing it right. I felt the ring of fire and pushed harder. And then my Sweetpea was here. 

Her first item of business in the outside world was to  poop on the nurse. Then she was snuggling on my belly. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. I finally chanced a look at Eric again and he was laughing and crying. And I fell in love with him all over again. I held her and kissed her and nursed her.  But, I couldn’t actually comprehend that I was holding my baby. It was so surreal. It was just before 7:25.  Then I said that first thing that came to mind: “Can I have drugs now?”  I was only half-joking.

And, I couldn’t stop shaking for hours. Something about endorphins. (I didn’t really listen.)

snuggling my perfect lil' Pea

Eric held his daughter for the first time and I witnessed the exact second she wrapped him right around her little finger, irrevocably.

The Pea sleeping with Papa. Yep, he was smiling in his sleep.

The Danger-man skipped pre-school and came to meet his little sister for the first time. She was nursing when he walked in so I unlatched her so he could peek at her face. Of course she started crying. When I explained she was crying because she was hungry he said in his (almost) 4-year-old wisdom: “Well, let’s take her home and feed her then!” 

The Danger-man meeting his baby sister

Sidenote: We were lucky that she decided to make a quick exit. My midwife showed me that there was a loose knot in her cord. If we had a long labor/delivery it would have cinched  and cut off her oxygen.   

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