Indulging the Momma

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's time for me to start planning Jack's second birthday party.  (No, it's not really time.  His birthday is in March.  But when you read lots of mom blogs and are on Pinterest with amazingly creative ideas hitting you in the face, like, nonstop, it becomes time to ponder these things.)

Last week, I had this crazy idea of an eighties themed party.  I could just picture Jack and all his little buddies with their polo shirts on, perhaps even doubled, with collars popped, while the adults relaxed and listened to Duran Duran and the Go-Gos.



I was toying with the idea of Rubik's Cubes as favors.  I had yet to fully harness the creative power of the idea.

My rationale was this: This is officially the last birthday party where he won't really notice of care what the theme is.  Therefore, I can choose a theme that *I* find entertaining, and hope he's not too embarrassed by it when he's a teenager.  But really, not even that last one.  He'll be embarrassed of us as a teenager, no matter what we do.  

I breezily threw out the idea of an eighties party to Durel.  He promptly nixed it.  He just sort of looked at me like I'd been possessed by a mildly confusing Pinterest addict and said, "Heather, he likes dinosaurs."

Oh, yeah.

So, before I throw myself into planning the Second Birthday Party for Little Dude, I'm indulging myself in a wee walk down memory lane.  Because I can't believe how quickly time flies.  Or how many diapers this means we've changed.
All I need is this bouncy chair and these sunglasses.
Being one ROCKS!


Charming the ladies before he could even SIT UP.

Still life with thumb.

Have you ever seen a blowfish, Mom?

I broke my leg.  They took me on a plane.
Now I'm sitting with the luggage.  Ain't nobody happy.
And now, I can go on with my party planning.  And I will be setting aside the Duran Duran, just in case you were wondering.

The Cure was much cooler.  (KIDDING.)



T-Rex it is,
Heather

Tough Guys

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One year ago, Jack and his buddies from school dragged their mamas to a local pumpkin patch after school to play and have their pictures taken.  The kiddos were all about 7-8 months old, and some of them weren't sure how much fun they were having.  We lined them up in front of some big pumpkins and giggled while we took pictures.

This is how that went:

Isaac, Emma (about to be a big sister!), Jack, Gabe (about to be a big brother!), Eli, and Mac.
This year, of course we had to do it again.

I was smart enough to leave my camera at home, knowing full well that there would be a slew of really fancy cameras with very capable moms behind them to make it worth my while.  I figured there would be a fair amount of toddler chasing, so I even thought ahead to wear pants and toddler-chasing shoes.

I was right about the cameras, and my outfit choice was apt.  I had underestimated our toddlers by a bit, though.  They covered every inch of that pumpkin patch.  They climbed stairs.  They ran into the family photos of unsuspecting families.  They rolled pumpkins down hills.  They giggled at each other and called each other's names.  (They do that now.)  They thwarted our very best attempts to get them in one spot for a picture, much less looking the same way.  

I don't yet know whether the camera-wielding mamas got some great shots.  I sure hope so.  Here's what I got:

Mac, Jack, and Eli cornering the market on the little pumpkins.
Note:  Eli looks very cute.
Jack was not dressed for the occasion.  In fact, he had such fun during craft time at school that he had to borrow a shirt from his nattily-dressed buddy, Eli, so that he didn't look like a total goober in the pictures.  He was, however, eager to prove that he is a tough guy this year.

Did you say we were going to the gun show?
I hope that Jack and his buddies stay buddies for a long, long time.  And I hope that they continue to drag their cooperative mamas and their fancy cameras to this pumpkin patch for a long time.  And I hope that I never stop being surprised or entertained by the fun stories that we make there.

He does believe in the Great Pumpkin.  Why do you ask?

Heather

Pasta

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today, I had this conversation with one of Jack's teachers:

Teacher:  Jack doesn't eat his lunch when we have spaghetti.

[lightbulb on over Momma's head]

Me:  Jack doesn't like pasta.

Teacher: (eyebrows up)  REALLY?

Me:  Nope.  I've tried to give him spaghetti and ravioli and he won't eat it.  Come to think of it, he doesn't like mac and cheese, either.

Teacher:  You know what?  YOU'RE RIGHT!  But ... all the other kids love that stuff!  And Jack, well, he eats so much!  How could he not like that?

Me:  (laughing)  I have no idea.  But I will pack him something different for lunch on those days.

What's to like?  Pasta.  Fuggedaboutit.
Here's to our likes and dislikes.  Even when they're crazy.  (Sorry Jack, but not liking mac and cheese is just wackadoo.)

Because mac and cheese makes the world go round (for some of us, anyway),
Heather

Six

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Six years ago on this date, a cloudless fall day dawned in Austin, Texas.  I woke before my alarm went off.  I felt excited, yet calm.  I went to the window and gazed out onto the city skyline.  I smiled as I remembered the end of the previous evening, sitting on my king-sized bed, surrounded by best friends and sisters, having a serious giggle fest.  

Six years ago, it was my wedding day.  And it was awesome.

Durel and I had been engaged for about a year, after one lovely spring day when he asked and I answered.  We lived in Washington, DC at the time.



Since then, we had finished school and moved back to Austin.  We rented a house, got a dog, and planned our big day.  


When the day dawned, we got dressed up and said our vows.  And we meant them.  And I cried.  And then, I realized that I wasn't as clever as I thought by hiding a Kleenex in my cleavage, because I couldn't go cleavage-diving for it with everyone in the world watching me.  And then, in a move that speaks volumes, Durel calmly handed me a Kleenex, because he had one in his pocket, because he knew that I would cry.


Since then, Durel and I have done a lot.

We took our (belated, rescheduled by hurricane, after the bar exam) honeymoon in Colorado.


I was indoctrinated.  (Check blog name for proof of total submission.)


We got another dog. 



We saw red rocks and saw many of our friends get married, one mile high.


We got ready.


And then we were three.


And that totally rocks.


Thanks for the past six years, D.  I can't wait to see when the next six hold for us.  And the six after that, and after that...


Stopping *just* short of getting too mushy for my own good.

Life is good.
Heather

Grandmother Knows Best?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The other day at work, a couple of my lovely colleagues and I were discussing naps.  (Yes, we really were.)  Our conversation basically involved us discussing how we are not big nappers, but that our husbands are.  We concurred that we always feel like we have *things to do* instead of napping.  I think we were all thinking that was pretty sad, as we heard ourselves say it.

And then, one of my colleagues said, reflectively, "My grandmother always took naps."

And then it dawned on me.  "Mine did, too.  Every single day."

We looked at each other.  Were our grandmothers onto something?

I think so.  Prior to this conversation, I had completely forgotten that my grandmother took a nap every day.  But once it came up, I remembered it with crystal clarity.  She napped from 3:00 to 3:45, or sometimes to 4:00 if she was extra tired that day.  She took her shoes off, got in my grandfather's reclining chair, and covered up with a throw blanket of her own crocheted creation.  She set a timer on the side table, and dozed off almost immediately.  She snored.  When the timer went off, she shook off the cobwebs of sleep, sat up, folded up her blanket, and went on with her afternoon.  She did this every day.







Incidentally, the next thing on her agenda would have been to see about dinner.  My grandmother also served my grandfather a four course dinner every night.  Yup, you read it right, folks.

My grandfather came home from work and, often, poured himself a whiskey on the rocks to drink while he changed his clothes.  When he came back downstairs, he sat down to dinner.  The first course was always a homemade soup.  My grandmother's vegetable soup was delicious.  As a grown-up soup aficionado, I can respect the fine balance of a good vegetable soup.

Once the soup bowls were cleared, the second course was a garden salad.  My grandmother always used Bibb lettuce, which reminds me of her to this day.  She also peeled her tomatoes.  (Wow, right?)  There might have been some cucumber or green pepper involved.  The salads were simple, but completely fresh.

The third course was usually a pan-seared steak and some sort of vegetable.  The vegetables were simple, maybe green beans, and usually topped with a little margarine and salt.  I don't really remember there being a carb in that meal, though to me, it begs for some form of potato.  There were, however, rolls or bread of some sort.  (Or Maryland beaten biscuits, if you were lucky.  YUM.)



The fourth course was dessert, which was either frozen yogurt or fresh fruit.  (My grandfather was diabetic.)



As a full-time working mom, the afternoon nap isn't an option for me.  (Though it sounds divine.)  But I can't stop thinking about the four course dinner.  Durel and I are always keeping an eye on how healthily we eat, though we each have penchants for unhealthy things.  (Me = queso.  Durel = donuts.)

But you have to give it Grandmom.  For all of the fad diets and low-fat foods and just plain processed foods out there, the dinners that she served to Granddad were awesome.  They were low fat. They involved good proteins.  They involved a lot of fresh vegetables, and quite frequently, fresh fruit.  They were substantial, but not heavy.  In short, they were awesome.

I feel proud and inspired to totally recognize that Grandmom was on to something.  That something is healthy eating.  And I'm going to try it.  What I mean by that is this:  I am going to make a huge pot of soup this weekend.  And a massive salad.  I may even use Bibb lettuce this week as an homage.  I am going to buy lean proteins and fresh veggies and Durel and I are going to eat like my grandparents for a week or two.  I'll report back on how we feel and how it goes.    

We will make one slight change, though:  We will watch Modern Family and 30 Rock instead of Jeopardy after dinner.  

I think Grandmom would be okay with that.

Bibb lettuce to you all,
Heather

Dogs with Horns

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last weekend, all of our hearts were made happy by a lovely visit from Nancy.  Nancy and I have been friends for (gulp) 18 years, since our freshman year at Bates in the twin cities of the Androscoggin.  

Since then, we've both had our shares of adventures, moves, new cities, good jobs, bad jobs, treasured moments, and things we'd rather forget.  During all of that, we've remained able to finish each other's sentences and know when it's *just time* for a Diet Coke.  Best friends are your family, and she definitely is.

Last year, Nancy came to visit in October, and we made our merry way to Sweetberry Farm for some frolicking in the pumpkin patch.  (I'm trying to lobby for this to become an annual trip.  Totally doable, right?)  Anyway, last year, Nancy snapped this priceless picture.  Remember?  I do.

That makes my ovaries hurt.

This year, Jack was much less interested in making cherubic poses while calmly sitting among the pumpkins. This year, Jack was super toddler head explosion excited about the fact that the farm has GOATS.  That's right, goats.  That you can pet, and feed, and poke, and giggle about.  Upon our arrival at the farm, we head straight to the goats.

One thing, though, Jack called them dogs.  

In Jack's mind, animals are either dogs, bears, or dinosaurs.  He's on the verge of figuring out elephants, too.  But if an animal is brown-ish and has 4 legs, and is not a bear, then it's a dog.  This means that goats are dogs with horns.

Still good for the petting, though.

Did you know they have dogs here?

I think I might pet one.
I am totally touching this dog with my finger.
I might even stick my finger in its eye.

So, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar...
Hope your day involves some dogs with horns, or at least something furry,
Heather

The New Truth

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Just making sure you all knew that.  I've been given lots of lessons lately.

Happy happy weekend (MINE!),
Heather

Not a Care in the World

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So, the pesky little ticker on the left side of this blog tells me that I am running veeeery low on time to prepare for the 3M Half Marathon in January.  (Go ahead and look.  I'll wait.  That's not a lot of time, right?)

I am both a perfectionist and a procrastinator, so in my world, I would prefer to do the perfect training schedule, in the perfect weather, with perfect form and amazing results.  But, guess what?  That's probably not going to happen.  Guess what else?  I realized yesterday that, regardless of these aspirational plans, I really just need to Get My Butt Out There.

So, Jack and I loaded up and Got Out There.  As I wrestled with all of my notions about being incredibly buff and making some ridiculous time in the race, I huffed and puffed with the jogging stroller around our neighborhood.  

And I decided this:  I've set this goal.  I am going to meet it.  I can, and I will.  It doesn't matter if it's perfect, because, you know what?  When I do it, that's "perfect enough."  So, I reminded myself to (expression that's jumped the shark alert) keep calm and carry on.


As I felt my spirits rising from making an awesome realization and good decision, I looked down to check on my passenger.  And this is what I saw:


He didn't have a care in the world.  It was a beautiful day.  He was outside.  He had already had some juice and taken his shoes off.  He giggled when his momma ran fast, because he liked the breeze and the bumps.  To him, it was perfect.  And guess what?  That made it perfect for me.

So, you know.  Here I go.


I guess you knew that all along?
Heather

Things That Make My Heart Hurt

Monday, October 10, 2011

The other day, Jack and I went to run an "errand" after work.  The "errand" may or may not have had to do with a present for Durel.  No comment.

Anyway, after our errand, it was high time for a spot of dinner out.  I considered our options for something toddler-friendly and delicious, and decided on La Madeleine.  I hadn't been there in some time, and I am still totally agog that their fat-free caesar dressing is really fat-free.



We found a table, where Jack enjoyed his kids meal, which consisted of the remarkably un-French options of cheese pizza and a chocolate chip cookie, and I enjoyed my fat-free chicken caesar salad.  We ate happily, stopping from time to time to smile at one another, and I felt my heart soar in a way that it has truly only known since I became a mother.  Fun stuff, indeed.

The table next to us was occupied with a mother and her two sons, who (though I have a hard time with this) appeared to be about ten-ish.  I thought to myself, "Oh, I can't believe Jack will be this age someday, but at least we can still have fun at La Mad!"  I thought that, that is, until I saw the way she treated her sons.

I really can't think of another way to describe it than this:  it seemed like she didn't *like* them.  She snapped at them about what they had ordered, how much they had ordered, how quickly (or slowly) they were eating, and a plethora of other things.  And, though I am the first to admit that there is no wrong quite like judging a person from their appearance, I will say that her appearance was such that I was surprised to hear her treating her sons with such disregard.  I couldn't help myself but to eavesdrop.  



They finished, and they left.  (She was in no shortage of hurry, but did take the time to berate one son for having chocolate around his mouth after dessert and ordering him to go clean up TWICE before they could leave.)  I turned to Jack and felt my heart surge again.  

I am sorry for those boys.  And I am sorry for whatever made that woman so angry, either that day, or that year, or in that lifetime.  And I pledge, to the world, and my readers, and my family, and my son, to never behave in a way that will make a stranger think that I *don't like* my family.  Shudder.  That pledge doesn't even need to be said, I think, but knowing that it's the only thing I can do to combat the way my heart hurt after seeing that dinner scene, it's what I am choosing to say.

I still can't believe it's fat-free,
Heather

High Five

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jack adores our dog, Pablo, with utter hero worship.  It is not uncommon for the first morning sounds we hear on the monitor to go something like this:

[rustle rustle]

Pablo!
Pablo!
Pablo...

[giggle]

[rustle rustle]

We have two dogs.  The other one is named Lucy.  She happens to adore Jack with utter hero worship.  To the extent that Jack is all about Pablo, this makes me feel a teeny tiny bit bad for Lucy.  She only spends all day following Jack around, licking his face, nudging him if he cries, and laying outside of his room while he naps.  That's all.

But this weekend, I was reminded that Jack is totally aware of Lucy and her awesomeness.  Because, while he may wake up calling for his black and white hero, Pablo, who does he lay on the floor and high five with?



That's right.  It's all good in our house.

High five and doggie treats to you all,
Heather

Just Like Dad

Monday, October 3, 2011

Durel enjoys doing yard-work.  

Well, I think he does, anyway.  In our household, he takes care of all "outside" things.  I take care of all "inside" things.  Despite my big talk of starting an herb garden, we don't have an herb garden.  Despite my big talk of helping in the yard, I have yet to get that done.  So...yeah.

Anyway, back to Durel and his green thumbs.  Super green.  In fact, D's father, Jack's PapaDu, redefines passion for gardening, yard-work, and one man palm tree relocation.  He doesn't just have a green thumb; he's green all the way up to his elbows.  I've decided that green thumb-ness and yard workiness are genetic on Durel's side of the family.

I, on the other hand, come from a place where poinsettias, Easter lilies, and all greenery received as a gift are presumed to be temporary.  I know they're going to die under my care, so I just enjoy them while they're nice.  Ironically, I am also completely opposed to silk flowers and fake trees.  Don't like them at all.  So, in order to have plants in my life, I either need to:  (1) learn how to keep them alive; (2) budge on my no fake plant stance (unlikely), or (3) live with Durel.  Boom.  Done.

The other day, Durel decided to start Jack early.

Thanks for the shirt, Aunt K!
I have a feeling that Jack will take after Durel and PapaDu.  And that makes me happy.  Maybe one day, I'll have that herb garden, after all.  Mother's Day 2016, perhaps?

Here's hoping you have some green thumbs in your life,
Heather

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Indulging the Momma

It's time for me to start planning Jack's second birthday party.  (No, it's not really time.  His birthday is in March.  But when you read lots of mom blogs and are on Pinterest with amazingly creative ideas hitting you in the face, like, nonstop, it becomes time to ponder these things.)

Last week, I had this crazy idea of an eighties themed party.  I could just picture Jack and all his little buddies with their polo shirts on, perhaps even doubled, with collars popped, while the adults relaxed and listened to Duran Duran and the Go-Gos.



I was toying with the idea of Rubik's Cubes as favors.  I had yet to fully harness the creative power of the idea.

My rationale was this: This is officially the last birthday party where he won't really notice of care what the theme is.  Therefore, I can choose a theme that *I* find entertaining, and hope he's not too embarrassed by it when he's a teenager.  But really, not even that last one.  He'll be embarrassed of us as a teenager, no matter what we do.  

I breezily threw out the idea of an eighties party to Durel.  He promptly nixed it.  He just sort of looked at me like I'd been possessed by a mildly confusing Pinterest addict and said, "Heather, he likes dinosaurs."

Oh, yeah.

So, before I throw myself into planning the Second Birthday Party for Little Dude, I'm indulging myself in a wee walk down memory lane.  Because I can't believe how quickly time flies.  Or how many diapers this means we've changed.
All I need is this bouncy chair and these sunglasses.
Being one ROCKS!


Charming the ladies before he could even SIT UP.

Still life with thumb.

Have you ever seen a blowfish, Mom?

I broke my leg.  They took me on a plane.
Now I'm sitting with the luggage.  Ain't nobody happy.
And now, I can go on with my party planning.  And I will be setting aside the Duran Duran, just in case you were wondering.

The Cure was much cooler.  (KIDDING.)



T-Rex it is,
Heather

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tough Guys

One year ago, Jack and his buddies from school dragged their mamas to a local pumpkin patch after school to play and have their pictures taken.  The kiddos were all about 7-8 months old, and some of them weren't sure how much fun they were having.  We lined them up in front of some big pumpkins and giggled while we took pictures.

This is how that went:

Isaac, Emma (about to be a big sister!), Jack, Gabe (about to be a big brother!), Eli, and Mac.
This year, of course we had to do it again.

I was smart enough to leave my camera at home, knowing full well that there would be a slew of really fancy cameras with very capable moms behind them to make it worth my while.  I figured there would be a fair amount of toddler chasing, so I even thought ahead to wear pants and toddler-chasing shoes.

I was right about the cameras, and my outfit choice was apt.  I had underestimated our toddlers by a bit, though.  They covered every inch of that pumpkin patch.  They climbed stairs.  They ran into the family photos of unsuspecting families.  They rolled pumpkins down hills.  They giggled at each other and called each other's names.  (They do that now.)  They thwarted our very best attempts to get them in one spot for a picture, much less looking the same way.  

I don't yet know whether the camera-wielding mamas got some great shots.  I sure hope so.  Here's what I got:

Mac, Jack, and Eli cornering the market on the little pumpkins.
Note:  Eli looks very cute.
Jack was not dressed for the occasion.  In fact, he had such fun during craft time at school that he had to borrow a shirt from his nattily-dressed buddy, Eli, so that he didn't look like a total goober in the pictures.  He was, however, eager to prove that he is a tough guy this year.

Did you say we were going to the gun show?
I hope that Jack and his buddies stay buddies for a long, long time.  And I hope that they continue to drag their cooperative mamas and their fancy cameras to this pumpkin patch for a long time.  And I hope that I never stop being surprised or entertained by the fun stories that we make there.

He does believe in the Great Pumpkin.  Why do you ask?

Heather

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pasta

Today, I had this conversation with one of Jack's teachers:

Teacher:  Jack doesn't eat his lunch when we have spaghetti.

[lightbulb on over Momma's head]

Me:  Jack doesn't like pasta.

Teacher: (eyebrows up)  REALLY?

Me:  Nope.  I've tried to give him spaghetti and ravioli and he won't eat it.  Come to think of it, he doesn't like mac and cheese, either.

Teacher:  You know what?  YOU'RE RIGHT!  But ... all the other kids love that stuff!  And Jack, well, he eats so much!  How could he not like that?

Me:  (laughing)  I have no idea.  But I will pack him something different for lunch on those days.

What's to like?  Pasta.  Fuggedaboutit.
Here's to our likes and dislikes.  Even when they're crazy.  (Sorry Jack, but not liking mac and cheese is just wackadoo.)

Because mac and cheese makes the world go round (for some of us, anyway),
Heather

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Six

Six years ago on this date, a cloudless fall day dawned in Austin, Texas.  I woke before my alarm went off.  I felt excited, yet calm.  I went to the window and gazed out onto the city skyline.  I smiled as I remembered the end of the previous evening, sitting on my king-sized bed, surrounded by best friends and sisters, having a serious giggle fest.  

Six years ago, it was my wedding day.  And it was awesome.

Durel and I had been engaged for about a year, after one lovely spring day when he asked and I answered.  We lived in Washington, DC at the time.



Since then, we had finished school and moved back to Austin.  We rented a house, got a dog, and planned our big day.  


When the day dawned, we got dressed up and said our vows.  And we meant them.  And I cried.  And then, I realized that I wasn't as clever as I thought by hiding a Kleenex in my cleavage, because I couldn't go cleavage-diving for it with everyone in the world watching me.  And then, in a move that speaks volumes, Durel calmly handed me a Kleenex, because he had one in his pocket, because he knew that I would cry.


Since then, Durel and I have done a lot.

We took our (belated, rescheduled by hurricane, after the bar exam) honeymoon in Colorado.


I was indoctrinated.  (Check blog name for proof of total submission.)


We got another dog. 



We saw red rocks and saw many of our friends get married, one mile high.


We got ready.


And then we were three.


And that totally rocks.


Thanks for the past six years, D.  I can't wait to see when the next six hold for us.  And the six after that, and after that...


Stopping *just* short of getting too mushy for my own good.

Life is good.
Heather

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grandmother Knows Best?

The other day at work, a couple of my lovely colleagues and I were discussing naps.  (Yes, we really were.)  Our conversation basically involved us discussing how we are not big nappers, but that our husbands are.  We concurred that we always feel like we have *things to do* instead of napping.  I think we were all thinking that was pretty sad, as we heard ourselves say it.

And then, one of my colleagues said, reflectively, "My grandmother always took naps."

And then it dawned on me.  "Mine did, too.  Every single day."

We looked at each other.  Were our grandmothers onto something?

I think so.  Prior to this conversation, I had completely forgotten that my grandmother took a nap every day.  But once it came up, I remembered it with crystal clarity.  She napped from 3:00 to 3:45, or sometimes to 4:00 if she was extra tired that day.  She took her shoes off, got in my grandfather's reclining chair, and covered up with a throw blanket of her own crocheted creation.  She set a timer on the side table, and dozed off almost immediately.  She snored.  When the timer went off, she shook off the cobwebs of sleep, sat up, folded up her blanket, and went on with her afternoon.  She did this every day.







Incidentally, the next thing on her agenda would have been to see about dinner.  My grandmother also served my grandfather a four course dinner every night.  Yup, you read it right, folks.

My grandfather came home from work and, often, poured himself a whiskey on the rocks to drink while he changed his clothes.  When he came back downstairs, he sat down to dinner.  The first course was always a homemade soup.  My grandmother's vegetable soup was delicious.  As a grown-up soup aficionado, I can respect the fine balance of a good vegetable soup.

Once the soup bowls were cleared, the second course was a garden salad.  My grandmother always used Bibb lettuce, which reminds me of her to this day.  She also peeled her tomatoes.  (Wow, right?)  There might have been some cucumber or green pepper involved.  The salads were simple, but completely fresh.

The third course was usually a pan-seared steak and some sort of vegetable.  The vegetables were simple, maybe green beans, and usually topped with a little margarine and salt.  I don't really remember there being a carb in that meal, though to me, it begs for some form of potato.  There were, however, rolls or bread of some sort.  (Or Maryland beaten biscuits, if you were lucky.  YUM.)



The fourth course was dessert, which was either frozen yogurt or fresh fruit.  (My grandfather was diabetic.)



As a full-time working mom, the afternoon nap isn't an option for me.  (Though it sounds divine.)  But I can't stop thinking about the four course dinner.  Durel and I are always keeping an eye on how healthily we eat, though we each have penchants for unhealthy things.  (Me = queso.  Durel = donuts.)

But you have to give it Grandmom.  For all of the fad diets and low-fat foods and just plain processed foods out there, the dinners that she served to Granddad were awesome.  They were low fat. They involved good proteins.  They involved a lot of fresh vegetables, and quite frequently, fresh fruit.  They were substantial, but not heavy.  In short, they were awesome.

I feel proud and inspired to totally recognize that Grandmom was on to something.  That something is healthy eating.  And I'm going to try it.  What I mean by that is this:  I am going to make a huge pot of soup this weekend.  And a massive salad.  I may even use Bibb lettuce this week as an homage.  I am going to buy lean proteins and fresh veggies and Durel and I are going to eat like my grandparents for a week or two.  I'll report back on how we feel and how it goes.    

We will make one slight change, though:  We will watch Modern Family and 30 Rock instead of Jeopardy after dinner.  

I think Grandmom would be okay with that.

Bibb lettuce to you all,
Heather

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dogs with Horns

Last weekend, all of our hearts were made happy by a lovely visit from Nancy.  Nancy and I have been friends for (gulp) 18 years, since our freshman year at Bates in the twin cities of the Androscoggin.  

Since then, we've both had our shares of adventures, moves, new cities, good jobs, bad jobs, treasured moments, and things we'd rather forget.  During all of that, we've remained able to finish each other's sentences and know when it's *just time* for a Diet Coke.  Best friends are your family, and she definitely is.

Last year, Nancy came to visit in October, and we made our merry way to Sweetberry Farm for some frolicking in the pumpkin patch.  (I'm trying to lobby for this to become an annual trip.  Totally doable, right?)  Anyway, last year, Nancy snapped this priceless picture.  Remember?  I do.

That makes my ovaries hurt.

This year, Jack was much less interested in making cherubic poses while calmly sitting among the pumpkins. This year, Jack was super toddler head explosion excited about the fact that the farm has GOATS.  That's right, goats.  That you can pet, and feed, and poke, and giggle about.  Upon our arrival at the farm, we head straight to the goats.

One thing, though, Jack called them dogs.  

In Jack's mind, animals are either dogs, bears, or dinosaurs.  He's on the verge of figuring out elephants, too.  But if an animal is brown-ish and has 4 legs, and is not a bear, then it's a dog.  This means that goats are dogs with horns.

Still good for the petting, though.

Did you know they have dogs here?

I think I might pet one.
I am totally touching this dog with my finger.
I might even stick my finger in its eye.

So, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar...
Hope your day involves some dogs with horns, or at least something furry,
Heather

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The New Truth


Just making sure you all knew that.  I've been given lots of lessons lately.

Happy happy weekend (MINE!),
Heather

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not a Care in the World

So, the pesky little ticker on the left side of this blog tells me that I am running veeeery low on time to prepare for the 3M Half Marathon in January.  (Go ahead and look.  I'll wait.  That's not a lot of time, right?)

I am both a perfectionist and a procrastinator, so in my world, I would prefer to do the perfect training schedule, in the perfect weather, with perfect form and amazing results.  But, guess what?  That's probably not going to happen.  Guess what else?  I realized yesterday that, regardless of these aspirational plans, I really just need to Get My Butt Out There.

So, Jack and I loaded up and Got Out There.  As I wrestled with all of my notions about being incredibly buff and making some ridiculous time in the race, I huffed and puffed with the jogging stroller around our neighborhood.  

And I decided this:  I've set this goal.  I am going to meet it.  I can, and I will.  It doesn't matter if it's perfect, because, you know what?  When I do it, that's "perfect enough."  So, I reminded myself to (expression that's jumped the shark alert) keep calm and carry on.


As I felt my spirits rising from making an awesome realization and good decision, I looked down to check on my passenger.  And this is what I saw:


He didn't have a care in the world.  It was a beautiful day.  He was outside.  He had already had some juice and taken his shoes off.  He giggled when his momma ran fast, because he liked the breeze and the bumps.  To him, it was perfect.  And guess what?  That made it perfect for me.

So, you know.  Here I go.


I guess you knew that all along?
Heather

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things That Make My Heart Hurt

The other day, Jack and I went to run an "errand" after work.  The "errand" may or may not have had to do with a present for Durel.  No comment.

Anyway, after our errand, it was high time for a spot of dinner out.  I considered our options for something toddler-friendly and delicious, and decided on La Madeleine.  I hadn't been there in some time, and I am still totally agog that their fat-free caesar dressing is really fat-free.



We found a table, where Jack enjoyed his kids meal, which consisted of the remarkably un-French options of cheese pizza and a chocolate chip cookie, and I enjoyed my fat-free chicken caesar salad.  We ate happily, stopping from time to time to smile at one another, and I felt my heart soar in a way that it has truly only known since I became a mother.  Fun stuff, indeed.

The table next to us was occupied with a mother and her two sons, who (though I have a hard time with this) appeared to be about ten-ish.  I thought to myself, "Oh, I can't believe Jack will be this age someday, but at least we can still have fun at La Mad!"  I thought that, that is, until I saw the way she treated her sons.

I really can't think of another way to describe it than this:  it seemed like she didn't *like* them.  She snapped at them about what they had ordered, how much they had ordered, how quickly (or slowly) they were eating, and a plethora of other things.  And, though I am the first to admit that there is no wrong quite like judging a person from their appearance, I will say that her appearance was such that I was surprised to hear her treating her sons with such disregard.  I couldn't help myself but to eavesdrop.  



They finished, and they left.  (She was in no shortage of hurry, but did take the time to berate one son for having chocolate around his mouth after dessert and ordering him to go clean up TWICE before they could leave.)  I turned to Jack and felt my heart surge again.  

I am sorry for those boys.  And I am sorry for whatever made that woman so angry, either that day, or that year, or in that lifetime.  And I pledge, to the world, and my readers, and my family, and my son, to never behave in a way that will make a stranger think that I *don't like* my family.  Shudder.  That pledge doesn't even need to be said, I think, but knowing that it's the only thing I can do to combat the way my heart hurt after seeing that dinner scene, it's what I am choosing to say.

I still can't believe it's fat-free,
Heather

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

High Five

Jack adores our dog, Pablo, with utter hero worship.  It is not uncommon for the first morning sounds we hear on the monitor to go something like this:

[rustle rustle]

Pablo!
Pablo!
Pablo...

[giggle]

[rustle rustle]

We have two dogs.  The other one is named Lucy.  She happens to adore Jack with utter hero worship.  To the extent that Jack is all about Pablo, this makes me feel a teeny tiny bit bad for Lucy.  She only spends all day following Jack around, licking his face, nudging him if he cries, and laying outside of his room while he naps.  That's all.

But this weekend, I was reminded that Jack is totally aware of Lucy and her awesomeness.  Because, while he may wake up calling for his black and white hero, Pablo, who does he lay on the floor and high five with?



That's right.  It's all good in our house.

High five and doggie treats to you all,
Heather

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just Like Dad

Durel enjoys doing yard-work.  

Well, I think he does, anyway.  In our household, he takes care of all "outside" things.  I take care of all "inside" things.  Despite my big talk of starting an herb garden, we don't have an herb garden.  Despite my big talk of helping in the yard, I have yet to get that done.  So...yeah.

Anyway, back to Durel and his green thumbs.  Super green.  In fact, D's father, Jack's PapaDu, redefines passion for gardening, yard-work, and one man palm tree relocation.  He doesn't just have a green thumb; he's green all the way up to his elbows.  I've decided that green thumb-ness and yard workiness are genetic on Durel's side of the family.

I, on the other hand, come from a place where poinsettias, Easter lilies, and all greenery received as a gift are presumed to be temporary.  I know they're going to die under my care, so I just enjoy them while they're nice.  Ironically, I am also completely opposed to silk flowers and fake trees.  Don't like them at all.  So, in order to have plants in my life, I either need to:  (1) learn how to keep them alive; (2) budge on my no fake plant stance (unlikely), or (3) live with Durel.  Boom.  Done.

The other day, Durel decided to start Jack early.

Thanks for the shirt, Aunt K!
I have a feeling that Jack will take after Durel and PapaDu.  And that makes me happy.  Maybe one day, I'll have that herb garden, after all.  Mother's Day 2016, perhaps?

Here's hoping you have some green thumbs in your life,
Heather
 
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