Monday, February 28, 2011

And there it was

We arrived home today from being out of the house all morning. There was a half eaten corn on the cob sitting all by itself in the middle of the living room floor that most definitely was not there when we left. We haven't had corn on the cob for dinner in months and months. I looked at Dawson and he just looked away. And I'm sort of glad that dogs can't talk, because really, I just don't want to know.

On a more appetizing note...

I'm Cooking: Last night we had Shrimp Scampi with Fresh Basil, Pasta with Spinach and Feta, and a Green Salad. I used a different pasta shape and fresh spinach for that recipe, but the whole dinner was a huge hit with my kids (and husband). And pretty healthy too. Yum.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This baby is making me feel a little bit like the movie Alien. I remember when I was pregnant with Porter, I loved feeling the little kicks and hiccups and movement. It all seemed so sweet and perfect and motherly to sit around and marvel at the miracle of a baby inside of me. But this time, the kicks seem so strong. Like this baby is going to come out kicking and screaming and with fully developed muscles. I mean, sometimes it hurts. A lot. And I can feel (what I think are) little hands and feet digging into my belly and it seems like she's trying to get the hell out of there. I'm grateful for feeling all this movement in some ways, because it means the baby is alive and healthy and doing her normal thing. But it just creeps me out a little bit too. I don't remember feeling this way with Porter or Molly, and it makes me feel kind of guilty and awful and like a bad mother. I read somewhere that your uterus thins out with each pregnancy, and that it is common for movement to feel much stronger the third time around. But wow. I really hope I am growing a baby girl and not a linebacker.

Also, congrats to my good friend Andrea who had a baby girl herself today. Welcome to the world Macy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


We had a pretty good weekend here, a bit of the stomach flu notwithstanding. We got to see fireworks up at the ski hill and hang out with friends. We also took the guinea pigs from Porter's preschool home for the three days, and Molly was ecstatic. She doesn't look it here, but I promise you she was. Even Dawson seemed to like them, and although it didn't make me reconsider my no rodents policy, it was really fun to have them here.

We also got a good chunk of snow, and Bryce and Porter built an igloo in the backyard. It's impressive, and I think is going to be a fixture for some time to come.

The snowy weather on Saturday seemed to call for some fresh baked cookies, so I tried a new recipe, Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Wow. I used less chocolate than this recipe calls for, and they were still super rich and tasty. Definitely a keeper.

So far, Porter is the only one of us to be stricken with the stomach sickness, and he seems better already. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Afternoon Slump

Molly still naps reliably every afternoon for at least several hours. This is a vital part of everyone's sanity around here. It's also when I clean the house, have some down time with Porter, blog, and get pretty much everything else done. Lately though, no matter how much sleep I get, right around 2pm I feel like someone has slipped an Ambien in my drink. The heavy eyelids, the arms and legs that weigh 50 pounds, the feeling like my nice soft bed is heaven on earth. And if I sit down on the couch, it's all over. Part of me wants to give in. But the other part knows that it certainly isn't going to get any easier to get anything done once the baby gets here. Nor am I going to be any less tired.

I can do this, right?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Traveling With Children

Our recent trip down south really made me think about traveling with the kids and the way I handle it. We live up here in the Far North, far away from family and friends, so once or twice a year we get on an airplane and try to see as many of those people as we can. I really look forward to catching up with everyone, showing how my family has grown, and letting the kids experience the big city stuff they don't get up here. And I think that Porter and Molly enjoy it too.

Except that every single time we travel, the kids (of course) get tired. They don't sleep as well in strange beds, they wake up early, naps get cut short in order to do everything we want, and bedtimes get pushed back because who wants to be on a strict schedule on vacation? So they get progressively more over tired as the trip goes on. And then there are strangers (to them) to meet, new houses to go to, and routines that are totally thrown off. I know this is hard on Porter with his reluctance to all things unfamiliar, and even Molly has her moments.

On this past trip, we really tried. But it happened. Molly put on her particularly intense, drawn out version of two year old tantrums every single dang place we went. She's prone to being particular anyway, but every day we walked on egg shells around her to avoid the mommy do it or I'll do it screaming fests. She was a lot more difficult than usual. A lot. Almost every house we stayed at also had children, so it was okay overall, I think people understood. But I felt bad. Hi! So good to see you! Here are my lovely (I mean, totally obnoxious) children. Sigh. Porter mostly held up, but had his own set of behavior issues too. So we really did have a good time, but it was exhausting trying to keep everyone happy and not be embarrassed by my poor parenting skills.

One of our last nights in town, the whole thing came to a head. We had gone to the zoo that day and walked around for about 4 hours. I was tired enough that I fell asleep on the couch while Molly napped that afternoon. Porter built a volcano with my mom, which was great fun, but I should have known that he would be way tired. That evening, we took the kids to a friend's house for pizza. No one else there had kids, but they are very good friends of mine from childhood, and I really wanted them to see Porter and Molly so I just didn't think. Total disaster. Porter was about as rude and disrespectful as he has ever been. He was so tired that he couldn't even eat (even though I knew he was hungry). He complained and acted up the entire time, even to people who were completely trying to pander to him. I couldn't snap him out of it with anger or coddling or anything. Plus Molly was her usual self, prone to terrorizing breakable items. I felt like they monopolized the discussion, which is so boring to people that don't have kids, I know. Bryce told me afterwards that he kept trying to change the subject, but it was so hard with kids in your face all the time not to talk about them. Ugh. So mostly, I was just embarrassed and really, really wished we had left them home with my parents and an early bedtime. This situation was quite easily preventable, but I just wasn't in the sleep crazy mindset.

So I guess I'm not sure what the best course of action is. Do you force a sleeping schedule (that might not happen anyway) and just say no to long road trips with no naps? Or do you just say screw it and deal with your kids being cranky? Because it's only a short time and you want to see everyone and do everything. It truly is difficult (and inconvenient to others) to stay on a routine sometimes, but it also doesn't seem fair to kids to burden them with no sleep and then get mad when they react.

The few days that we've been home have been like a sigh of relief. My kids! They are normal again! They actually aren't monsters! I just wish that everyone else I miss so much could see them like this, the way they are supposed to be. It's a lot more fun.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zipping Right Along

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I really can't believe we are already halfway through February. For a long time, April seemed very far off, but now it feels like it's coming too quickly. In any case, we had a nice weekend here at home. Bryce installed the zip line on the tree house, and much fun was had by Porter, Bryce and our neighbors. Molly and I were resigned to watching, although I'm not sure how long I can convince Molly of the logic in that.

We also made Valentine's Day cards for Porter's preschool class. I admit to stealing this idea off another blog, but they were a big hit. And pretty easy to make.

We just got home from the party at preschool, and Porter is eating Fun Dip for the first time ever. He can't believe his luck.

I'm Cooking: Last night I made Lentil Soup. I added some ham and red wine vinegar at the end, but this is a great basic recipe. Good the next day too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We made it home yesterday, and when I put Porter to bed, he rested his head on his pillow, sighed, and said "ooooooooh yeah." I think that's about how we all felt. We had a fantastic time with so many people, but there is just nothing on earth like your own bed.

However, I will definitely miss nice weather in January, Indian food and free babysitters! And also all the fun things we got to enjoy in the big city. Thanks to everyone so much for all the generous hospitality (even when our kids were tired and not well behaved), we had a great trip.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Off The Road

We are back in the Big City, safe from our week long road trip with two small children (otherwise known as the Scenic Rest Area Tour of 1-90). We discovered an hour into our drive that Porter is still very much in the throes of car sickness and can not watch the DVD player unless closely supervised on a very straight stretch of highway. This kid has been throwing up in cars (and planes) his entire life, but he just doesn't get much of a chance to get sick in a town with 40 miles of road. I'm just thankful that he can now tell us what's coming at least a few seconds in advance.

We had a very good time seeing family and friends alike, and we got to show Porter the house we lived in when he was born. He didn't remember anything, and didn't really seem to believe that we once lived in Montana. Although the drive was long, it was worth it for sure. We are spending a few more days here with my parents, then we'll head back to the Far North, back to school and Dawson and getting ready for the new baby (10 weeks to go).