Monthly Archives: May 2008

Distraction

Neither of my kids ever seemed to mind diaper changes all that much.  I know plenty of babies who would be hysterical the moment you got the onesie unbuttoned, but my kids generally took it in stride.

No more.

Now we’re in full on squirm/flip/wrestle/scream mode.  Good times.  Rebecca just wants to be somewhere else.  And Daniel has been plain fussy recently, and loses it when I lie him down.  Not sure why, but he does.  So now I’m all about distractions on the changing table.  Rebecca gets the hygiene supplies, like the bottle of saline spray or the tube of butt paste.  Daniel, above all else, loves his plastic links. Especially when he can shake them and make noise. I bought them in a package of 24 for about $3 at Target, probably six months ago. Best money I ever spent, apparently.

4 Comments

Filed under Infants, Photos

It was only a matter of time

Rebecca loves our dog. Getting closer to the dog was clearly her motivation when she finally started crawling. Now she goes faster and faster, chasing the dog around the room. She laughs when I’m throwing a kong and the dog comes running back with it in her mouth. I won’t say the love is exactly mutual, but there you have it. Rebecca’s other love is standing up, as I have mentioned before. An excellent tool for that, as it turns out, is the dog’s crate. Easy to grab and climb. Well, I knew eventually she’d figure out something else you can do with the crate…

And if someone could please explain the universal appeal to crawling children of the dog’s water and food bowls…

4 Comments

Filed under Child Development, Infants, Photos

Tastes like summer

Today was the first really muggy day of the season. Not my favorite, when the weatherman starts talking about dewpoints. I remember watching the forecast last summer, in my hugely pregnant days, to find out how hideous my day was going to be. Today would have been one of those dreaded days. Not that I enjoyed being so sticky today, but hey, at least I wasn’t pregnant.

The heat and humidity, combined with the threat of severe afternoon thunderstorms, kept us from our longer afternoon walk. Instead, after the PM nap, we slathered on some sunscreen and sat outside for the short while we had before the dark clouds and thunder raced in. I brought out some wooden spoons and metal bowls, finally remembering one of those divinely simple toy ideas… and they were a hit! Not only were the spoons reasonably safe to chew on, but Daniel figured out how to bang it on the bowl after only being shown once or twice. Not bad! A future percussionist? 🙂

And as soon as I knew what a sticky day it would be, I instantly knew that I would make one of my summer standards for dinner. On a day like this, I want dinner to be room temperature at the absolute most. Even better is something that comes out of the fridge, but I need more than a lettuce-based salad to satisfy for dinner. This couscous and chicken salad is a favorite of mine as soon as the weather is warm enough. It’s easy, fast, and tastes even better the next day, straight out of the fridge. Make it at least an hour or two ahead of time, if you can, to let the flavors meld.

Chicken & Couscous Salad
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe
1 c. uncooked couscous
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2-3 c. diced or shredded cooked chicken (I like to roast bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large or 2 small/medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
4-6 scallions, chopped
parsley, if you have it, chopped
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 t. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper

  1. Bring broth to a boil in small saucepan, add couscous. Cover and remove from heat, let stand ~5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Move cooked couscous to a large bowl, fluff with fork, and let cool slightly.
  2. Add chicken, veggies, and parsley to couscous, toss to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, oil, cumin, and garlic for the vinaigrette. Season generously with salt & pepper. Pour over couscous mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature, do not heat.

Obviously, it’s a salad, so put in whatever you think will taste good. The original recipe has radishes and pine nuts, and no tomato. Though I will say that I tried feta one time, and it just didn’t work.

5 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Outdoor entertaining

We had a barbeque at our house yesterday, and if I do say so myself, it was a smashing success. The weather was perfect, sunny and mid-70s. The swingset was a hit for those of the right age. We had a total of 13 adults and eight kids, including three sets of twins, the oldest of which is 13 months. Thankfully there were no vegetarians in attendance, as they might have had an aneurysm upon viewing my platters and platters full of meat. Ribs… mmm. Chicken… mmm. Bratwurst?! MMMM. I’m from the midwest, so I love me some brats cooked in beer and finished on the grill. As M says, I’m the only person he knows who actually keeps “cooking beer” on hand. But honestly, as little beer as I generally drink, I’m not going to waste Stella Artois by bringing it to a boil and throwing in some sausages. No, I keep Budweiser on hand for that very purpose.

Anyways, it was a perfect day to be outside in the fresh air. Despite having only a 35-minute afternoon nap, my kids did really well being outside for a few hours, passed around to various friends and family. Rebecca had a hard time going to bed, and I have a slight suspicion she might be working on an ear infection, but Daniel was happy as could be the whole darn time. And who wouldn’t be, if you got to try your first rib?

I used to be much better at documenting events, photographically-speaking. As I’ve gotten a bit older, though, I seem to be more wary of snapping pictures of my friends drinking beer. Maybe because, in college (the height of my “unofficial event photographer” days), it was sort of an unwritten thing that everyone was into. We liked taking pictures, we liked posing for pictures with groups of friends, arms around everyone. Now, parties are a little quieter, and I suppose I’m spending more time chatting idly with other guests than I am trying to get pictures of everyone. I still get a ridiculous number of pictures of my children (also thanks to my sister-in-law), but basically none of the other people at the party, which is sort of too bad. Maybe next time…

At any rate, I was exhausted after the party and had a raging headache, so was in bed and asleep at 8:30. Can I party like a rock star, or what?

Got up this morning, kids were happy. House was a little cool because we had left windows open, but the fresh air was great. And the house smelled faintly like ribs and beer. Not a bad way to start a holiday.

5 Comments

Filed under Good times, Holidays

A benefit to living in the ‘burbs

I always knew I’d be a suburban kind of girl. For as much as I sigh when I look at the pretty brick buildings on Beacon Hill, and imagine the fabulously urban lifestyle my alter ego would live, it’s just not me. I don’t actually like how crowded things are, I don’t like hearing my neighbors through the walls, and I like to be able to park my car within a mile of my residence. But there are downsides to having moved further from the city. Not being so close to culture, my fellow “liberal elites,” and good ethnic restaurants is a bummer.

But I can drive downtown and get good sushi, Ethiopian, or Greek food. And living out here means I have a four-bedroom house, and I only share walls with my husband, dog, and kids. Even better, said four-bedroom house sits (strangely positioned) on a quarter-acre lot, which is definitely larger than the average suburban Boston lot. When we were house-hunting, three years ago, much of what we saw listed lot size as “.05 acres.” Bummer. But not us, we lucked out with our whopping “.25 acres.” And you know what’s cool about that?

Our new swingset arrived.

It was a gift/hand-me-down from my aunt, as my cousins have gotten too old for it. I actually found a company that specializes in assembling, moving, and inspecting swingsets. They drove to my aunt’s house, took it apart and packed it in a pickup truck, drove to my house, and set it up in less than an hour.

I was so psyched to try it out (and wanted to do so before the promised late-afternoon rain showers) that I carried both kids outside without bothering to put pants on them. Ah, whatever, it was nice out.

I think they had a good time.  Oh, the fun we’ll have this summer

Try putting that in Beacon Hill…

7 Comments

Filed under Good times, Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Stand and deliver

Both of my kids are really into standing right now.  All. The. Time.  Not unsupported (yet), but standing nonetheless.  While Daniel certainly loves to reach for my hands or my shirt to pull himself up (and looks oh-so-proud when he does), he’s still restricted to whatever is in reach of where he’s sitting.  The frighteningly-mobile Rebecca, however, has no such limits.  She’s started standing on everything.  She figured out how to stand using the ottoman, the TV cabinet, the exersaucer, and even the Pack & Play, which is a more advanced maneuver as there’s nothing to grab hold of on the way up.  And last night we reached everyone’s favorite milestone: standing up in the crib, and screaming at the top of her lungs in the middle of the night because she can’t get back down.  Guess it’s time to lower that mattress…

Kilroy was here, in the pack & play

Rebecca can’t believe the fools in Cash Cab have only $75 and two strikes already!

Oh so proud of herself.

7 Comments

Filed under Child Development, Infants

For the pregnant ladies in the hizzouse

It’s Birth Story Week over on How Do You Do It?.  Yes, the sort of thing you’d only find on mom blogs (and probably TLC).  But for those who like a good birth story, especially of the multiples variety, head on over.  Mine went up this morning (complete with a terrible picture of myself that I had not previously posted), and there will be more all week.  Good times!

4 Comments

Filed under Newborns, Pregnancy