Category Archives: Uncategorized

Party Time

Jude loves a good party. Whether it’s a birthday party (his or someone else’s), a Christmas party, a Mardi Gras party, or just a really nice brunch with friends, Jude. Is. Down. Almost immediately after his birthday last year, he told me that *next* year he wanted a Skylanders birthday party. I told him it was just a touch early to start planning the following year’s party. I really thought he’d change his mind. He has not.

So, with almost exactly three months to go until the big day, I’m starting to plan this birthday party. I’m scouring Pinterest, and trying to pay more attention to the details of the game while Jude and I play. I don’t know if I’m up to this challenge. His Minecraft party two years ago really stretched my abilities, and in that case, we were working with cubes. This year I’m looking at making fondant cupcake toppers, decorative vines to hang around the place, and a Kaos pinata. And more!

I think my plan is going to be to buy a notebook (paper!) and start trying to make lists of activities/decorations/food and their corresponding shopping list, and then just dive right in. This year, we may go ahead and rent some space to hold the party, instead of having it outside like we normally do. (And all the party-goers rejoice! They won’t have to spend three hours near the beach in the cold and wind this year!) Give than I have three months to work on it, I *should* be able to get it all done.

Right?

Right Now

Right now, my entire family is asleep. I’ll be headed there shortly, but first, I wanted to take advantage of the quiet to think and write down some things I’ve been thinking about and experiencing lately. In no particular order…

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Butterflies

I made the promise to myself (as well and Josh and the kids) that this year would be the year I suck it up, get some museum memberships, and take the kids on a regular basis. Doing this will be no small feat-we don’t have a car, and the closest museum we have interest in is the Nature Museum, and that takes at least half an hour, if not 45 minutes to get to via public transit. Let’s just say that an hour or more of travel time makes for a very long outing. So, getting to these museums is the first obstacle. The second is the age gap between Jude and Ramona. Jude is six. He’s definitely at the point where he wants to take his time and look at things and ask questions. Ramona, on the other hand, is two. She likes to run. Full stop. Can you see how this might be a problem?

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Letter to Ramona: Month 12

Dear Ramona,

At 12:08am on July 19th (2012), you turned 1 year old. I remember your birth vividly. In the moment, I could not recognize your birth for what it was–a healing experience. Today… well, today I am grateful for you.

The day you turned 9 months old you took your first steps. Almost exactly a month later (on Jude’s 5th birthday), you decided to make walking your primary mode of transportation. Between then and now you’ve learned to step over things and climb up onto things you shouldn’t; you’ve also started (kind of) running away from me when I try to stop you from getting into whatever you shouldn’t be getting into.

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What You Should Be Reading

Just in case you’re looking for another awesome (and frequently updated, unlike *some* blogs) blog to read, I thought I should mention that one of my best friends, Demery, has finally joined the blogosphere.

Demery is a writer, and her blog features daily writing prompts. She invites her readers to compose their own take on each day’s prompt and to share it in the comments section of each post.

So! Head on over to Write Away Every Day and see what prompt Demery is sharing with us today.

Worms!

(While reading this post, please keep in mind that I have a true phobia of all things creeping and crawly. Thank you.)

One thing I love about living right next door to one of the many local parks is that Jude get to interact with kids from a wide, wide age range. Sometimes he ends up sitting next to mamas who have their babies snuggled next to them in their ERGO baby carriers, and sometimes he ends up playing a variation of soccer with some elementary-aged kids. Jude especially loves playing with the older children; and one boy he has really connected with is an eight-year-old named Jameson.

Jude and Jameson ran into each other (almost literally) one day on the playground. The chased each other up and down the slide and all around the play structure. After playing for a while, Jameson asked Jude if he’d like to dig for worms. Jude said “Sure!” and I just smiled and followed behind them as they ran across the park to a dirt-filled area.

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Dinner=Yummo!

Dear Readers,

I’m writing to you from my almost food coma. Tonight’s dinner was so, so yummy, I just had to share the menu (and some recipes!) with you.

I started out by making some fresh basil pesto.* I used the pesto not only as sauce for our pasta, but also as stuffing for the white button mushrooms we got at Saturday’s farmers’ market. To make, I simply removed the stem of the mushroom and filled the resulting cavity with pesto and topped it with a touch of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Then I placed the stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish, drizzled the mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil, and put the dish under the broiler–on low–for about seven minutes. I chopped the mushrooms stems and reserved them to mix in with the pasta. Finally, I prepared a yummy bruschetta** to use atop some crusty bread we had in the house.

So, in case you can’t quite follow my typing, tonight Josh, Jude and I enjoyed

Fresh basil pesto-stuffed button mushrooms
Bruschetta
Pasta with fresh basil pesto and chopped mushrooms

I so wish you could have joined us.

*I halved this recipe because I didn’t have five cups of basil on hand. I also omitted the walnuts and used Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmesan.

**Instead of garlic powder, I used a bulb of fresh green garlic. I also topped the bruschetta with a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese.

Housekeeping

Hey you! Yes, you! The reader(s) who are subscribed to this blog via RSS or email! Listen up… I’ve got some news for you.

And other times has recently undergone a make over. You all should click over to my home page and check out the new design. Josh is still doing a bit of customization, and I’m working on updating a few of the static pages, but for all intents and purpose, we’re a-go!

Also, you may remember seeing an Amazon banner on my old site. There’s a similar banner here, and it signifies the fact that I’m an Amazon Associate. That means that if you click on that banner (or any Amazon link in any of my posts) and go on to purchase something, I earn a (small) percentage of the purchase price. Additionally, you might not have noticed (but you should!) that there’s an ERGO Baby Carrier banner hanging out with the Amazon banner in this blog’s right hand column. I’ve recently hooked up with ERGO and have become an associate for them, as well. I have to tell you, I’m super excited to advertise for this company. I don’t know how I would have survived without my ERGO carrier. Heck! At nearly 3 years old, Jude still fits in in comfortably and utilizes it whenever we’re out an about and he needs a rest. If you want to read about my experience with my ERGO, read this post. Then, after you read it, go ahead and buy one for yourself. It’s the most useful piece of baby gear Josh and I own. I promise it won’t disappoint!

Keep your eyes peeled for more frequent and consistent posting, friends. I’m hopping back on the wagon.

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Possibly a Disastrous Idea

Back when I thought Jude was giving up his one daily nap, I started thinking about what I could do to fill those extra “awake” hours. Jude usually naps around mid-day, for anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes. (Rarely do we get a 2-hour nap these days. *sigh*) Sometimes we do lunch before he goes down; sometimes I throw something together as soon as he gets up. Our days are fairly fluid, and I like that.

Anyway. At some point I had the thought (“Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear.”) that it might be nice to do a picnic lunch with Jude a few times a week. We live right next to a park with a fair number of trees and shade, so we could easily find some empty space to spread out a blanket and plop ourselves down. I had grand ideas of buying a real picnic basket and filling it with yummy foods and snacks and a red and white checkered blanket. Maybe a few books, too.

Since Jude is once again napping (thankyouJesusChristAlmighty), this picnic idea has moved from the “ways to keep myself sane” column to the “fun things to do with Jude just for the hell of it” column on my list of daily activities. However, now I’m a bit stumped as to what to actually take on a picnic lunch. ALTs seem a little too messy; quesadillas and burritos would likely be cold by the time we got around to eating them; and I don’t know if Jude would eat a cold pasta dish. Hmmm. Also, I’m wondering if the boy will even bother to eat if we’re outside. He may forego it in favor or running around all crazy like. Am I nuts to even attempt this (without backup)?

So, assuming I give my picnic idea a go, do any of you have any tried and true picnic lunch ideas you can pass along to me? Have you ever picnicked with a toddler? What were the results? HALP!

Physical Therapy

Primarily I use this blog as a way to chronicle Jude’s life. The past few posts (and likely a majority of the next few posts) have been very “me” heavy, and for those of you who just don’t care, I apologize. Some of you have expressed an interest in reading about my doctor’s appointments and my progress through PT. If you are one of the latter, here’s an update:

On Friday, while Jude and his babysitter played at Day Frog, Josh and I met with Kenji Muro, a fantastic neurosurgen at Northwestern. Dr. Muro squeezed us into his schedule with less than 24 hours notice, and for that, I am eternally grateful. So, the appointment went well and ended with Dr. Muro prescribing physical therapy for me (as well as some meds for my pain). At this point, I’m waiting to try the new medication that Dr. Muro prescribed until after I’ve tried PT for a few weeks. I dislike drugs. I dislike, nay, I HATE putting that shit into my body. I realize that there is a time and a place for pain pills, and that yes, this *is* probably one of those times and places when they are warranted, but still, I will wait and see how my body does without them.

This morning I had my PT evaluation at Athletico in Evanston. Overall, I thought it was a good session. The PT was personable, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. He put heat on my back and did some deep tissue massage and showed me a handful of back/core exercises that I’m to do 2-3 times per day, every day. I go back on Friday for my next session and will be going twice a week until my checking account runs dry. I’m really hopeful that the PT will be enough, that I won’t have to rely on pain pills or muscle relaxants to avoid or manage the pain for the rest of my life. I suppose only time will tell.

Through all of this, Josh and Jude have been wonderful. Whenever I leave to go somewhere, Jude asks, “Go doctor?” He has also been great about helping me around the house. If I drop something on the floor, Jude will pick it up for me without hesitation. He is also being really good about climbing onto the bed for me for diaper changes so that I don’t have to lift him.

Josh is a superstar of a husband. He has been taking care of Jude and the house and me, without complaint, for nearly two weeks now. He is such a source of strength for me. I’m not sure what I would do without him.

I imagine that the next few weeks are going to be tough for me–I’m going to have to learn what my limitations are and relearn the proper way to lift and bend and sit. Luckily for all of us, we have a friend coming to stay at our place for two weeks… I’m really glad to know we’re going to have an extra set of hands on deck.

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