Thursday, November 29

Unspeakable Joy!

How indulgent...  I now get three hours on Wednesday mornings to myself.  My son was able to add Wednesday mornings to his preschool schedule and I get this time to myself.

Yesterday morning was the first day.  I had very ambitious aspirations
1. Work-out
2. Take a shower (and wash my hair)
3. Eat breakfast
4. Buy a baby gift
5. Buy little gifts to mail to my son while I am in Mexico next week
6. Go to Trader Joe's for dishwasher soap and paper towels (we were out of both)
7. Go to Justa Pasta to stock up on some sauces while I am away.
8. Go to New Seasons (buy coffee - we were down to a 1-day supply)
9. Buy some groceries and house supplies
10. Go to the bank to get a new check book register (we are writing on every possible surface)
11. Put gas in the car
12. Go to the cleaners
13. Pack for my trip to Mexico

I made it half way through the list.  In any case, it was absolutely luscious and decant to have this three hours to myself.  I managed to do a short run around the waterfront.  I love my ipod when it works right.  I created this great imix for my runs.  You can check it out by clicking here
I hope you will post your favorite work-out music in the comments sections.

The time flew by way too fast, but that is okay... I was happy to have it!

Tomorrow is another packed day.  I will finish the errands that I didn't get to on Monday and get ready for my trip.  I leave at 5:30 AM on Saturday.  I hope to blog from San Miguel.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 25

What a FEAST!

Our Thanksgiving feast started with
roasted garlic shrimp cocktail and vegetable crudite with a creamy roquefort dip
Homemade mashed potatoes and delicious sweet potatoes
Cloverleaf rolls and a fantastic brined natural turkey

Cornbread, sage and pancetta dressing and cranberry sauce
Carmelized baby onions and roasted Brussels sprouts

This is the 13th Thanksgiving my husband and I have spent together.
We alternate spending Thanksgiving with his family in Montana and our friends in Eugene.
We spent this Thanksgiving weekend with our friends in Eugene. These meals are always extraordinary as everyone in our group of eight loves to cook.  As you can see we pulled off quite a delicious feast! 

Monday, November 12

A November Weekend

It was a perfect November weekend. We worked out, went to the farmer's market, made a big pot of chili, baked lots of cookies (chocolate chip and snicker doodle), raked leaves, had a date-night, played with friends in the park and caught up with our neighbors.

Thanksgiving came early when our neighbors, Carol and Joe, surprised us with a gorgeous homemade pumpkin pie. Tyler mixed-up a few "old fashioned" cocktails - it was nice to have a chance to catch up. The weeks and months fly by way too fast!

We shared some of our yummy chili with Carol and Joe and found this sign in their kitchen window this evening!

Wednesday, November 7

Do you use a slow-cooker? Call for your recipes!!!

Tuesday nights are now slow-cooker nights in our home (at least for the past two weeks).

I bought a slow cooker (also known as a crock pot) last year. I attempted my first recipe and it was bad... REALLY BAD! I put the crock pot away for a year and finally decided to give it a try again.
I work on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays. I pick up my son at preschool around 4:30 and then we get home around 5 PM. We have been bored with countless visits to Justa Pasta and Laughing Planet. We are also bored with pizza and take-out Thai. We have lost interest in grilling on the BBQ and we are looking for alternatives to pasta dishes. I've been craving hot, old-fashioned meals, but I just don't have the time to cook the way I did in the past.

Last Tuesday, I bought a nice chunk of beef (on sale at QFC). I put it in the slow cooker with chopped onions, garlic, salt and pepper. I cooked on low for 8 hours. It was pretty good. We served it with a baked potato and salad.

Yesterday, I made a pork loin roast (on sale at Zupan's). I cooked it with cumin, chili powder, a can of chilies and chopped onion. It cooked for 8 hours on low. We served the shredded pork on warmed corn tortillas, topped with cheese and roasted asparagus.
I hope you will share your simple and easy recipes.

THE BED: Part III (The final chapter - I hope!)

Are you as bored with this story as I am?
I am so tired of thinking about this bed and losing hours of sleep every night.
I'm going to cut to the chase because I'm ready to move on (I'm sure you are too).
So after two months of Henry sleeping great in the bed (potty trained, in underwear and waking up DRY!), he has started to wet the bed. It started slow... one time, then again a few weeks later, and now it has been almost EVERY NIGHT for the past month. I'm DONE!!!
Here is my post to urban I'm buying diapers today!! No more wet sheets, no more wet pajamas, no more wet mattress pads, and no more wet comforters! I'll buy him a special toy and make sure he feels great about this choice.
So that is it. We will keep the bed (for now).
Hopefully we will all get more sleep!

Henry - Six days old

Monday, November 5

THE BED: Part Deux (The nightmare begins!)

(continued from THE BED: Part I) If only my story could be a sweet as this photo...
So my husband and I arrange to borrow our neighbors truck. We drove down to Sherwood and picked up the bed. It took several (frustrating) hours to build, but all-and-all things went smoothly. Our son was thrilled and excited about his new "big boy" bed. We did the usual bedtime routine... bath at 7 pm, books at 7:30ish and bed by 8. It seemed too good to be true. Several hours later, as we were all sound asleep, I was abruptly woken by a loud THUD followed by the most INTENSE and Terrifying CRYING. I rushed through the darkness and found my son on the floor. Fortunately he was fine -- Just very scared and upset. We really couldn't understand or figure out exactly how he fell out. As you can see from the photo. The bed is surrounded by a sturdy rail, except for the ladder opening. Once my son calmed down he wanted to go back to bed. We used a pillow and bungee cords to block the ladder opening.
Then things got really exciting a month or so later when our son got a stomach bug and threw up repeatedly all over this bed. I can tell you that changing this bed is a NIGHTMARE and cleaning vomit from between the wooden spindles is a tedious task.

In addition to all of this, we realized that this bed looked ridiculous in Henry's tiny bedroom. I decided that we needed to switch Henry's bedroom and the guest room. My sweet husband had the patience to take the bed apart and reassemble it in the (former) guest room. This DID turn out to be a good decision. Both rooms look much better, but the bed situation has not improved.

My son has thrown up several times since and has also fallen out of the bed two more times. After the third fall this summer, I posted the bed on Craig's List. I was done and wanted the bed out of my life. I started to shop for a new bed (one only several inches from the ground and made of waterproof material!). The timing was awful as (believe it or not) two other "tent slide beds" were also listed. After several luke-warm inquiries, I decided to try to stick it out and keep the bed. Henry told me that he liked the bed and didn't want me to sell it. I also realized that I did not want to destroy his bedroom wall (For his birthday I purchased the wall-mounted book rack and reading light). They would both have to be relocated if we replaced this bed with normal bed. So I pulled my Craig's list ad and you might think that things improved for a while, but they didn't.

To be continued THE BED: PART III

Saturday, November 3


Here is the boy...
Here is the bed...
At first glance, you may think, "wow... what a lucky kid". This is probably true, but this bed has not been lucky for the kid's mom.
It started great... I fell in love with this bed about a year ago. My son was 2 1/2 and we were looking for a bed to replace his crib. I initially saw this bed at a children's boutique in Eugene. It was close to $600 and out of the question for our budget (yes... even then I had a conscience about spending too much). I eagerly searched online and found the bed for as low as $450 with free shipping. If I sold the crib for $150, we would come close to a figure that I would consider.
Then the so-called "miracle" happened. On a whim, I typed in "loft bed slide" on Craig's List. Sure enough I got a hit. A family in Sherwood had the exact bed posted for $150. Their ad had been posted only an hour earlier. They were moving to Bend and didn't want to deal with moving the bed. I quickly arranged to go to work late the next morning and travelled down to Sherwood with my $150 in hand. The bed was in perfect condition, except for the tent. It was pink and it was torn. I was told that I could buy a replacement tent at America the Beautiful Dreamer for $50. I paid for the bed and made arrangements to pick it up that weekend. I rushed to ATBD and purchased the red tent. I was thrilled and felt rather proud of my savvy purchase.
To be continued