Wednesday, March 26, 2008

global warming, my ass

f you winter, ok? just, f you.

thursday afternoon we began to hear rumblings from the weather service that the snow we were expecting would be more than previously thought. forecasts went from 6 - 8" right on up to 8 - 14". we all hoped, prayed, and offered the proper sacrifices in order to have the snow miss us, but to no avail. overnight, i kept peering out the windows as i got up with the baby, and around 5:30, we started getting dumped on. fat, wet clumps of snow. it piled on all day, not stopping until 7:30 or so that night. i think 16" is the total we got. totally freaking ridiculous.

needless to say, i worked from home on friday. kept oliver home with me as well so we wouldn't have to drive, which was smart, because apparently the roads were a total disaster. staying home allowed me to log on work early, so i was able to log off early for a short nap before dinner. we had been planning on grilling T bone steaks for dinner, but as the grill was under 16" of snow, plans changed. i made a smoked paprika and rutabaga bisque, to which we added crispy crumbled bacon (it needed something more), and served along with fresh polish sausage and pretzel rolls. YUM. i made chocolate chip cookies for dessert, which really hit the spot (as homemade cookies warm from the oven are wont to do).

oliver did very well with his nighttime schedule once again, and even slept in until nearly 8am on saturday morning. he was in a good mood when he awoke; he woke us up with his giggling and babbling over the baby monitor. way better than an alarm. :) we played for awhile, and when he went down for his morning nap, bryan went out to clear the snow off the driveway while i made cheddar bacon biscuits (had to use the leftover bacon somehow, right??). we spent a leisurely day around the house, which included bean tostadas for lunch and a visit from mom, who brought us some homemade hot cross buns. bryan whipped up a spanish tortilla for dinner, with potatoes and chorizo. it did not suck.

saturday night wasn't so great for ollie; he seemed restless, not necessarily fussy. not sure what was going on but neither of us got a lot of sleep. finally around 8am sunday, oliver went down for a nap and bryan got up and i went to bed. we skipped church as a result (i'm sure god will forgive us).

sunday afternoon, bryan wanted to go to the mall so we could get a new comforter for the bed. we arrived at the mall, and were surprised at how empty it was. we got the baby loaded up in his stroller, and bryan headed up to the mall entrance while i closed up the car. or tried to. it wouldn't lock. it kept flashing the "there's a key in the car" light on the dash. i called bryan back to help me figure it out and whoops - he hadn't turned off the car, just put it in park. :) you can't tell when the engine is running on electric!! so we got that sorted out then figured out the mall was closed (hello? easter!). we got back in the car and decided to search out some lunch. unfortunately, bryan turned east instead of west down bluemound ave (i assumed he knew what he was doing), and long story short, we ended up in the parking lot of miller park. we found our way out, decided to cut our losses, and headed home for an easy lunch of grilled cheese and leftover soup.

i got ollie to take another quick nap, then we were off to my aunt's house for easter dinner. we had ham, polish sausage, beef tenderloin with mushrooms, twice baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, steamed whole carrots, pierogies with roasted vegetables, and some delicious homemade bread from mom. there was cake and pie as well. we were pretty stuffed. oliver started getting a little over stimulated and we didn't want to throw his schedule off too much, so we packed up and went home. on the way home, it started snowing. AGAIN. luckily, it didn't last long and didn't stick. i don't think our psyches could have handled it.

sunday night wasn't too great with oliver either. not sure what is going on but we needed a new plan of attack. we all needed our sleep. i decided to cut out caffeine; i was not having much, but bryan had picked up some cherry cokes for me (a fave) so i was having one every day or two. monday i did more reading and talking to other moms, and in short, we needed to let him cry it out. i wasn't willing to let him cry for hours on end, BUT he needed to learn to sleep on his own. and it worked!

monday night, he went down early, and i knew he hadn't eaten quite enough but he refused to eat more. he was over tired so was just plain fussy. so down he went. i let him cry for an hour, then went in and THEN he was ready to eat. then he went down without a problem and slept for 2 1/2 hours. when he woke up, it wasn't eating time, so i let him cry for a half hour, then went to feed him. he stopped crying when i went to pick him up, and while he usually would smile and talk, he just kind of looked at me. he was picking up on the change, for sure. he ate well, then he slept for 5 or 6 hours. when he woke up tuesday morning, we heard him, but again he was not crying, just amusing himself in his crib. score one for mom.

last night went well sleep wise, though he did get sick. we tried some sweet potatoes with our rice cereal for dinner, and he loved them. i had always heard you should start with green foods first, since orange/yellow foods are sweet and you don't want the baby to develop a predilection for sweet stuff. however, the orange/yellow foods are easier to digest, and ollie's had some digestion issues, so on advice from the doctor, we went in that direction. after dinner, he had a small bottle, and was in bed, wide awake, before 6. he put himself down without a problem. i was so proud! i had some time to relax and eat delicious fish and roast veg tacos before he woke around 8, had a bottle, and went down again around 8:30. he fussed for 15 minutes, was quiet for 10, then was was making really pathetic whimpering sounds. i went in to check on him and found he had vomited ALL over... poor guy!! we got him (and his bed sheets) cleaned and changed and once his stomach was empty, he seemed ok. i fed him and held him for a bit (i just couldn't put him down), and he only got up once more during the night. so, no more sweet potatoes. we'll back off and stick with cereals for awhile, and maybe try some sweet peas over the weekend.

and after all our recent snow, it was 55 degrees yesterday, and 99% of the snow has melted. they had forecasted snow and freezing rain, but i'm glad they were this side of wrong. although, whatever was uncovered by the melting snow has caused my allergies to jump to high alert status. snow is in the picture tomorrow and friday, though, and perhaps going into next week. welcome to the winter/spring transition in wisconsin.

a few new pics in the march gallery.

so not much happening, except working on baby scheduling, which is pretty darn exhausting. i'm a lucky mom, though, with a good baby, and he's doing well. looking forward to napping as much as possible over the weekend. will probably hit the mall up as well, since it will be open. :)

WFD: bryan's going to make a pepito/chipotle pesto, which we'll swirl into a cream sauce, and serve over pasta with crumbled chorizo and perhaps some toasted bread rubbed with garlic. yes, it will be good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

fat and happy

our st. patrick's day dinner was a big success. the corned beef turned out deliciously. perfectly salted and pink. we've decided we should no longer wait until st. patrick's day to have some on hand; it is, after all, so very easy to make. after it boiled for about 2 hours, i put it in the oven for 40 minutes or so, fat side up. the fat rendered and ran all down over the meat, resulting in a delicious roast. bryan smashed up red potatoes with butter and cream, and sauteed the cabbage; mom's soda bread was delish (i polished off the last of the loaf with butter and tea for breakfast this morning). we were far too stuffed to even contemplate dessert.

no cute oliver pics, unfortunately, as he hadn't napped much during the day and was in bed by 6. he got up at 7:30 for his big feeding, then was on a 4 hour schedule after that. what a good baby.

i am counting the minutes until lunch, when i get to sink my teeth into the homemade pastrami sandwich i made this morning.

WFD: flat iron steak with mushrooms and red wine sauce, yellow squash, salt and pepper potato rounds. god i love my life.

Monday, March 17, 2008

beannachtaí na féile pádraig oraibh!

happy st. patrick's day everyone! oliver's middle name patron saint (in honor of my uncle patrick). hope you have plans to celebrate well tonight. mom and dad are coming over for some homemade corned beef, sauteed cabbage, buttered red potatoes, guinness, and mom's soda bread. i have been dreaming of that corned beef.

our weekend was busy and exhausting, but we got everything accomplished that we set out to do.

friday after work, i went and picked up shannon from her friend's house, who came into town for a surprise weekend visit. we arrived at mom and dad's just as they were leaving the house for a movie, and they were totally shocked. mission accomplished! :) needless to say, they happily canceled their movie plans.

bryan spent friday evening tending to the smoker. i brined 2 briskets in preparation for st patty's day: one for corned beef, and the other for pastrami (which is what happens when you brine and smoke a brisket). the homemade pastrami is unequaled. i was never a pastrami fan until i had our homemade version. now i am a die hard fan. i dream of thick slices of smokey pastrami nestling up to some sharp cheddar cheese.

we also put our new oliver nighttime routine and rules into effect friday night. we've done lots of reading and talking to people, and the thing that always strikes me about parenting in general, is that you can read everything you want, and it may all seem like common sense, but when you have a crying baby, putting into practice what you thought you learned isn't quite as easy (and suddenly much of it seems contradictory). :) one of the main things we gleaned from our reading last week was that at his age, he needs 11.5 - 12 hours of downtime at night. since we get him up at 6:30 every morning during the week for day care, that would mean he should be in bed by 7pm at the latest. we had been getting him down at 8pm. so by moving his bedtime up an hour, we helped to ensure that he was getting to bed before he started to get over tired. that seemed to help A LOT. also, someone i went to high school with is getting her doctoral in child development specializing in regulation and infant crying, so she has been giving me some GREAT advice/tips/knowledge on the subject. it was so good to hear that he won't put up a stink for no reason, and that while it may be hard to tell the difference at 2am, the baby knows if he's crying just to fuss or if he's hungry - it's his only way of communicating, after all. bryan and i did better tracking our actions at night, and communicating. we observed each other's methods so we could come together a bit more on that too. for the most part, he was on a solid 4 hour schedule. he did have a fit of gas on saturday night; but we worked through it and i found that having him upright relieved some pressure some where and he was able to settle down to sleep. sunday morning, he even sat alone in his crib and babbled away happily to himself for a good 30 minutes. all in all, he did very good with his eating schedule and much better on the sleeping front as well. i think we're making progress. :)

saturday morning, we left ollie with mom and shannon for awhile while we drove to kenosha to go mattress shopping at a furniture outlet. we picked a king size simmons set, which is HUGE compared to our old queen. we did get an extra firm, and after sleeping on it for the first time last night, bryan isn't so sure he loves it as much as he thought he did (i was so tired i barely noticed). we do have 30 days to exchange it if we so desire, so we'll give it a week. either way, it is nice to lay on the bed and not roll towards a dip in the middle. ;) after we made that purchase, we zipped through the prime outlets so i could exchange some pants for oliver, and buy myself some pants that fit, then hurried to get oliver and head downtown to pick a csa.

slow food wisconsin hosted a csa open house at the urban ecology center. multiple farms from around the state set up tables to give information. we reviewed materials from all of them, and spoke to many of the farmers, and in the end chose JenEhr Family Farm. their biggest draw is that their pick up spot is at the west allis farmer's market, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our house. some of the other farms didn't have any spots in town, which just doesn't work for us. they were one of the few certified organic farms present, which was a big plus in our eyes. the farmer we spoke with as well was very personable, and we got a great vibe. their materials were well presented. they also offer members the ability to come and pick their own strawberries and tomatoes during the appropriate seasons, which will be a lot of fun. we bought half a share, so will be receiving a full bushel every other week. we are SO excited for the season to start, in june. i can't wait to see what we get with each pick up, and hopefully to develop a relationship with the farm.

we had so far managed to make it through the day without disrupting oliver's eating/napping schedule, and he did us the favor of conking out almost immediately in the car, and even continuing to sleep as we stopped at the first grocery store to begin our food shopping. he awoke at the next store, still feeling rested and not yet hungry, so we zipped through and headed on home so as not to break the schedule. we made it home in time to have some play time and cereal eating time, right on schedule.

mom, dad, and shannon brought over some singha thai take out for dinner. this is easily our favorite thai place, hands down, and is the perfect place to fall back on when we don't know where to go. i have said it before and can't say it enough: BEST SPRING ROLLS EVER. their menu is expansive, and while the pad thai is my usual favorite, i ordered the spicy catfish. mom had gotten it last time we were there, and it was outstanding. it is my new favorite. the catfish is battered and fried, and served in a mildly spicy red chili sauce with green beans. i am not a big fan of catfish, but whatever they do to this fish works - it's seriously addicting. i had a hard time not eating all of it so i could have some leftovers for lunch today. :) shannon had cashew chicken, which was very flavorful and packed with giant, perfectly toasted cashews. bryan had some very spicy green curry pork, and dad had some yellow curry chicken. mom had some peanut beef, which was spicy as well, and had a slightly vietnamese taste to it. we had some italian double chocolate gelatto and red raspberry sorbet for dessert. i had seem them at the grocery and said, gee wouldn't they go well together? turns out i was right.

katie texted us to see if the tornado had hit hannah's area; we had NO idea what she was talking about, having been on the go since 6:30 that morning, and were shocked to learn of the tornado that ripped through downtown atlanta friday night. we immediately thought of our friend chris, who lives but a few miles outside of downtown. we saw sunday morning that the tornado went straight through his neighborhood and destroyed many homes and buildings. when we got in touch with him sunday afternoon, we were relieved to learn that he was all right, and that while a tree fell on his house, it appears to have caused minimal damage. his yard is a disaster, though.

sunday, we couldn't quite get our schedule in line with the baby's, but in the interest of our sanity we favored his and eventually got it together. we attended palm sunday church, which is always an interesting one to me; the service starts out on a joyous note with the palms, but the passion gospel is always so depressing (and LONG). i was surprised to see that most of the music was organ heavy; we didn't do much joyous celebrating, and i was rather relieved that the passion gospel was a simple reading, and not the 40 minute drama i remember from my youth. all in all it was pretty disappointing, but since we're not all that big on organized religion to start with, we can't be too surprised. :) next year, i think i'll take bryan to mom's church so he can see the palm walk, which is a pretty neat procession, and we'll just slip out before they get to the gospel and all that heavy stuff. i guess we're just in it for the entertainment. ;)

after church, we both had lunch on our minds, so we zipped home to bake the strata i had prepared the night before. i layered potato chive bread, usinger's beef ring bologna, and mozzarella cheese, drowned it in an egg custard, left it overnight, and baked. it turned out pretty tasty, and there wasn't much left over. i packaged up the leftovers for mom, as she doesn't get a chance to eat ring bologna, but loves it. i ran out to do some quick target shopping (we were in the danger zone with the diaper supply), and once oliver woke up from his next nap (right on schedule; what can i say, he's a great baby), he and i got all packed up and headed out to spend some time with shannon before she left. his next expected nap time coincided with her departure time, and when his eyes began to droop, i got him in the car and lulled to sleep; made a quick stop at home to drop him off then headed back out to buy some new pjs and onesies for oliver (he keeps growing), and sheets for the new bed, as we didn't have any king size ones. oh darn, i have to buy all new bed linens. :)

the bed arrived last night, and the delivery guys were nice enough to keep it down so the baby didn't wake up. the bed looks great in the space; it fits the room much better than the queen did. bryan is going to build me a headboard to upholster, since we don't plan on buying new bedroom furniture until sometime next year. so that will be a fun project for the both of us.

we made mushroom swiss burgers for dinner last night and ohhhhhhhhhhh yum. bryan cooked the mushrooms in butter, and finished them with sherry (one of my favorite flavors). i picked up some emmenthaler; i wanted something a little more biting than your generic deli swiss, since i like that depth of flavor better. no mustard, no mayo, no lettuce, no tomato, just some seriously caramelized onions: we really wanted the sherry and cheese to shine through, and they did. it was the perfect end to the day. we watched eddie izzard's sexie, which was amusing as always ("Um er, so the breast thing, so as a transvestite it’s my job, right eh, just wearing breasts..."). GAH i can't wait to see him live. :)

i woke up around 3am feeling incredibly sick all of a sudden, but whatever it was seems to have passed through. i must have caught a stomach bug on one of our 77 errands over the weekend. tis the season. luckily, it seems to have passed by bryan and the baby. i debated staying home to catch up on sleep but then i may just want more. so i had a cherry coke for breakfast instead. :)

i hope everyone enjoys their st patrick's day. and remember while celebrating tonight:
"cha deoch-slàint, i gun a tràghadh!"
"it’s no health if the glass is not emptied!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

pizza, beer, and homemade organic baby food (not all together, of course)

spending the past 2 days at home with the munchkin were nice, and fun (i can't get enough of those giggles and cuddles), but it is good to be back at work as well. all in all, he did very well schedule wise, so i was able to get some work done. i'm definitely looking forward to getting him back to our normal schedule; hopefully it helps with his night sleeping as well. he has definitely been off for the last week or so; he has been getting up a LOT (last night being the worst yet). he just seems restless, and he does eat... but we need to get better about keeping him away from the bottle at night to regulate his feedings. he needs to eat during the day!! bryan and i discussed this morning how we need to solidify our approach and communicate to each other better. we tend to not alert the other to his last feeding, so when he wakes and it's the other's turn to get up, we just go ahead and feed him... plus after being up and down 5 times by 3am, memory becomes pretty fuzzy. so we've devised a plan, and starting tonight, will be better about putting it into action. hopefully oliver complies. :) it will take a period of adjustment, i am sure, but he is a good baby so i think we'll be ok.

tuesday night, bryan fulfilled a fantasy of mine and made me homemade pizza. while he is normally afraid of all things flour, his pizza dough recipe is perfected, and to be coveted. light, fluffy, incredibly flavorful - it is the stuff of dreams. topped with his tangy, rich tomato sauce, perfectly bubbled mozzarella, and some pepperoni, it's hard not to devour the entire pie (we didn't bother trying to resist). i had the new glarus hop hearty I.P.A. with it, and while i probably wouldn't pair that beer with pizza again, it was pretty delicious. in true pizza house fashion, i cavalierly skipped my vegetables. aren't hops a plant??

after bryan and i wrapped up work yesterday, we bundled the baby up for a short walk. the weather had warmed up into the 40s, so we figured it would be good to take advantage of it. ollie was a bit fussy as we were getting set to go, but as soon as that stroller started moving he calmed down. the sun and wind were a bit much for him (he's still not used to that yet), but he seemed to enjoy it anyways. he ate a big bottle and took a really good nap once we got home.

last night for dinner, i took some flat iron steaks we had from peapod, and made a rub/marinade with ground chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, hungarian paprika, oregano, salt, dark brown sugar, fresh crushed garlic, olive oil, and cider vinegar. cooked these off (medium), and sliced them thin; laid them in warm corn tortillas, topped with shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced tomatoes, and pickled red onions. bryan also put some of my homemade bread and butter jalapeno pickles on his; i skipped that extra heat. the steak was phenomenal. so tender and juicy, and very flavorful. i have added 4 more to my next peapod order. :) i think the tacos would have been better on flour tortillas (the recipe i based the idea on called for corn; plus, that is all we had) and with some mexican crema. still, not complaining. :)

eating solids has been going fairly smoothly all week. we feed oliver a bottle an hour or so before cereal time, so that he is not super hungry and thus less likely to get frustrated. he does seem to get a little frustrated, though, in that he is used to a constant stream of milk and with the cereal, he has to wait for me to load up the spoon and feed him. so perhaps feeding him cereal sooner after his bottle would work better. he does seem to gobble it up pretty good; far less than half ends up on his face. :) i'm hoping that as we increase the amount he gets, he gets more used to spoon feeding, and less frustrated. and hopefully, more sleepy at night. wish us luck tonight.

this weekend, we plan on buying a new [much needed] mattress. bryan is set on getting a king size, which i suppose makes sense (it'll fit more kids than a queen). i'm definitely looking forward to hitting up the outlet mall, at least. we're also attending a csa open house, sponsored by slow food wisconsin. we loved our csa in atlanta, so we're really looking forward to buying a share here in wisconsin. although, i have been choking on my tongue a little when looking at how much it will cost us. the ones here are far more expensive than what we paid in atlanta; then again, the ones here are run by the farms themselves and are leaps and bounds more organized (our atlanta one was run by a flaky guy who had never done anything like it before and had, often, to supplement from the farmer's market and god knows where else). we'll probably buy half a share, in hopes that we get our own garden in this spring as well (which, in all reality, we better get moving on the plans for). we'll see. we may end up with a mountain of vegetables. i can always make my own baby food with the extras, though, so i'm excited for that. homemade, organic baby food - is he a lucky little devil or what?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

my big boy

oliver keeps growing and it is so bittersweet. he has completely lost that little baby face and is turning into a real boy. it's all downhill from here. :)

this weekend, we worked on turning his eating schedule around, which was actually much easier than we thought it would be. he adjusted without much of a fuss. we held him to a minimum of 3 hours between feedings during the day, letting him eat more in the evenings if he so desired, and tried to keep him to 4 hours at night (though if he woke up at 3 or 3 1/2, we fed him... can't go cold turkey on him :). he settled right in, though sunday and last nights he was a little more restless than normal. the doctor had said it is more important than ever to make sure he puts himself to sleep, since he is starting to feel separation anxiety, and if we rock him to sleep or come running every time he cries, he'll learn those behaviors and we'll never get a good night's sleep again. :) so we've been working harder on letting him cry some, and while it's hard, i am hoping it has the desired effect. i know he can put himself down when he wants to (if he's ready for a nap, you can put him in his bed wide awake and hear nary a peep), but if he wants his mom and dad, that boy is NOT going to sleep (no matter how tired he is). you can always tell, too. he'll scream like the world is ending for 10 minutes, and then as soon as you go in to check on him, he'll quiet down and start giggling. punk. sunday night, i went in there to calm him down, and he'd grab my hand, whimper and giggle, and if i'd lean over him, he'd reach up and rub my face. that boy as got my number, and he knows it.

katie's friend jessie came and babysat for him saturday, and he was of course the perfect baby. bryan, mom, and i drove around to shop for kitchen remodel stuff, and we have a few ideas. we need to nail down our new floor plan and pick cabinets, and the rest will follow. and my money right out the door with it. :) i'm really excited to get started, however!

one of the things oliver's new pediatrician told us to watch out for to know he was ready for solids was the desire to put everything in his mouth. he had really started doing so in the last week or 2; his rattles and animals inevitably ended up getting chewed on a bit. SO we bought some big boy feeding supplies, ready to start him on rice cereal. sunday night as we ate dinner, he sat with us as usual, and we gave him a spoon to get used to that idea (no food on it). it was so incredibly cute - bryan would pretend to feed him, and he would very seriously concentrate on pretending to eat (and did a very good job - he wasn't sucking on the spoon or spitting it out; it looked like he was eating), and then give us a big goofy grin as if to say, "did you see me? i ate like a big boy!" he did such a good job we decided to try the real thing last night, and he surprised both of us by actually eating. we had expected a messy baby, but he actually ATE! i was so proud! some of course ended up on his chin, and he didn't eat much, but he did so well. so he is officially on solids now. :) in another week or 2, we'll start him on fruits and veggies. he's hardly a baby anymore. his motor skills are so developed, he's eating solids, and while he can't roll over he can inchworm along the floor... he's figuring out the connection between his actions and their effects: how when he jumps and wiggles in his jumperoo, the lights and music starts; if he shakes a rattle it makes noise; if he grabs his bottle and pushes, it goes out of his mouth, and if he pulls it towards himself, he can feed himself (he takes great delight in removing the bottle from his mouth then putting it back over and over and over again). it's a slippery slope at this point... he'll start developing even more rapidly! and while i can't wait for all the joys of watching him grow up, a tiny part of me wishes he would stay tiny forever; that little bug that just wants to curl up on my chest and cuddle.

is it wrong to have mac n cheese for breakfast? i made some for dinner last night; creamy and gooey and plenty of left overs (gee, i wonder how that happened). i can't seem to stop thinking about it. we had that with marinated pork loin (vermouth, olive oil, crushed green peppercorns, dijon) and broccoli for dinner last night.

bryan made a ridiculously juicy pork loin friday as well. that along with some broccoli rabe. the loin (both nights) was from peapod and i must say - we were happy with it. same with the rabe.

: adobe beef tacos with pickled red onions, or some version thereof. or perhaps pizza, homemade of course (with bryan's infamous dough recipe). holla! that is, of course, if i can hold off on eating it until dinner. it may become lunch.

some new pictures and video in the march 2008 gallery.

Friday, March 7, 2008

the mighty pogues

we had a wonderful night.

bryan and i managed to get out the door on time, even though i nearly had a panic attack about leaving the baby and wanted to abandon all plans. i only got out the door knowing that it was just the new mama crazies. i even managed to restrain from calling to see if he was ok and had eaten (1.5 miles from the house, when i first wanted to call). we got on the highway and had a breezy ride down to chicago. we hit some traffic about 10 miles from our exit, but it wasn't too bad. we arrived, checked on the baby (who was doing good; lots of giggles, eating, and a good nap), and rang adrianne to let her know we had arrived.

we drove to the theater and attempted to locate parking. we ended up parking in a lot across the street... for $20. i meant to take a picture so everyone could see what a $20 parking spot looks like but i forgot. let me assure it: it looks like every other parking spot you have seen. but, we were in a lot where a guy was watching the cars and we were right by the venue (and bryan hates chicago drivers with a venomous passion and this got him out of traffic quickly), so i guess it was worth it. sort of.

at this point it was 6:30, and we were pretty hungry. we wandered over to carmela's taqueria, which had the fortune of being across the street from the theater. and wouldn't you know it, they had some real tacos al pastor. this brought back memories of tacos on isla mujeres; going to the taco campos stand by the stadium at dusk to order large amounts of tacos to share with friends; sitting at plastic tables under the fluorescent lights of el medina to have a snack of tacos al pastor, preceded by radishes with lime and salt, after much tequila sipping. we got all excited and ordered 2 each (con cilantro y cebolla, por supuesto) along with pina jarritos. oooo yum. we ordered another round of tacos (con queso for me), and daydreamed about mexico. the place was pretty empty when we had arrived, but was full of gringos when we left (including a totally adorable 2 year old who wanted to sit at the counter and watch the guy make tacos).

adrianne arrived via the train just as we were finishing dinner, so we met up and headed to the theater. the riviera was once grand and beautiful, i am sure, but is fairly run down. lavendar, eggplant, teal, and gold paint cover the walls (where it's not cracked or patched with white spackle). it reminded me a lot of the tabernacle in atlanta. since we're old and can't handle the jumping kids anymore, we sat in the balcony so we could thoroughly enjoy the whole show.

the ike reilly assassination opened, and they kinda sucked. they were pretty boring. the group also seemed to have of an identity crisis: there was the mod, the shoe gazer, the balding guy, and the junior banker (the lead singer was wearing a button down shirt and pleated dockers, both too big for him... very momma dressed me in my big brother's hand me downs). they were trying to act all hard, saying they loved "drinking and burning shit", and singing about dying, but no one believed them (not a single one of them had a drink on stage, losers). there was a group of well behaved guys in front of us, who kept heckling the band, to our amusement.

as we waited for the pogues to come on, bryan looked up the review for the previous night's performance. they came on late and apparently weren't good. we think maybe the reviewer wasn't a pogues fan or just wasn't familiar, because our show was awesome!

they came on shortly after 9. shane came slowly, wearing a black suit, sunglasses, and a top hat, carrying a "coffee" mug. every few songs, shane would leave the stage, and the band would do a song or two without him. between the brogue and the drink, you couldn't understand much of what shane mumbled between songs, though i did catch "fucking", "tossers", and "dirty old town." :) they were phenomenal. at the end of the set, shane attacked his microphone with his top hat, and knocked it down. :) they came out and performed their first encore, at the end of which shane mocked hanging himself with the microphone cord (and needed some help getting untangled). they ended with the song siesta, and banged tin lids from the food service tray on their heads to make the proper percussion noises. :) after their second and final encore, shane sent drinks into the crowd (he had a bottle of wine and some cup on the stage with him).

all the pics are posted in the gallery.

we zipped through the city to drop adrianne off at a friend's apartment, then hit the highway. i didn't think i would be able to nap in the car, but i dozed off pretty quickly. we arrived home just minutes before 1am and crashed. the baby was down until 3:30 or so, so i got a nice little nap, but was pretty excited to see him. :) he and bryan slept in a little before heading over to day care; bryan took the day off and i am working from home.

we took oliver to meet with a new doctor. we took him to the family practice where i have my new doctor. i was very impressed with their facilities, which include a full lab. so we met with the doctor to see how he was, and ask him some questions about feeding and such. we questioned him on what the other doctor said, without being too judgmental or evil about it (and so bryan did the talking), and he had never heard anything the other doctor told us, and said it was very odd. what he said instead did make sense: that ollie would be ready for solids sometime in the next 2 months, and that if we decided to start him now that would be fine; he gave us some signs to look for, and walked through how to do it. he also said that he may be getting up more now at night for comfort, and the fact that he is eating more at night may be why he is eating less during the day. light bulb moment! :) he said he is old enough and hefty enough to make it through 4 - 5 hours of sleep without eating, so that we should let him cry at night and make him wait, and that he'll switch his eating pattern around. which definitely makes sense; he was only eating a bottle or 2 during the day, but eating tons at night. backwards boy! so we're going to try that tonight, and in a week or two probably start some rice cereal. he said that there is no worry about over feeding him, since as we're breastfeeding, i'll only produce what he needs and he'll only eat what i produce. and oliver won't eat when he's not hungry, so we're not worried anyways. we really liked that this doctor presented all points of view of the medical community on the issues we discussed, without necessarily taking sides. he presented why each argued the way they did, and basically indicated that no one side is right. he is a mentor to interns, which is also comforting - we know he has to live up to certain standards. :) we'll be switching over to this doctor full time.

i am so happy it is the weekend. oliver has his first real baby sitter tomorrow. katie's friend jessie is going to watch him for a few hours in the afternoon so bryan and i can do some research shopping for the kitchen renovation. i'm pretty excited for that. other than that, lots of snuggles and giggling baby!

we have started a march 2008 gallery, and i leave you with a cute baby picture from this set:

Thursday, March 6, 2008


ah they were but babes. :) tonight, we're traveling to the riviera theater in chicago to see the pogues perform. i am so very excited; this chance doesn't present itself often. my sister adrianne is coming from michigan. we'll all have a rollicking good time, i'm sure.

mom and dad are watching the baby. i am rather anxious about leaving him; i know he'll have the best care, and he loves his nana and grandpa, so i'm fully aware it's completely my problem and has no basis in reality. so i'm trying to get over that suffocating feeling high up in my chest and just get on with it. we're driving back right after the show, so i'm sure he'll be ready to rock and nurse when we get home, which will give me a chance to feel better about leaving him. :)

shannon had called the night before last to let us know that EDDIE IZZARD is going on tour!!!! he is not coming to milwaukee, but he will be performing at the chicago theatre in may, so we bought our tickets yesterday. the show is called Stripped, and it's still beyond my tiny little mind's comprehension that we'll get to see him LIVE. i positively adore him.

we ended up not making that pork loin for dinner last night. we got a bit of a late start, so bryan made me some makeshift croque monsieurs. we didn't have the proper cheeses, didn't make a bechemel or anything so fancy, but we did have the bread, mayo, dijon, ham, and some colby jack, so it was close enough for me (especially considering i haven't had grilled cheese since early november). i was happy.

WFD: road food, more than likely. we want to try to slip in between traffic rushes and plan on getting to chicago when their rush hour is just ending. so we'll probably pick something easy up on the way.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

tasting notes

i enjoyed my first beer in 13 months with dinner last night. bryan had picked up a few pale ales for me on sunday, and i decided to enjoy one with dinner after some talk on another blog re: post pregnancy beers.

i had my choice of a new glarus hop hearty I.P.A (local to Wisconsin) or a bell's brewery two hearted ale, also an india pale ale, and relatively local as well (michigan). the new glarus was outstanding, but was overly hoppy for my first beer back in the ring, so i chose the two hearted ale. ahhh, it was refreshing, and quite good. i'm definitely reaching for the new glarus next time, though. that one was kick ya in the pants good.

for dinner, i fried up some italian sausages we ordered from peapod, which were handmade at a butcher in illinois (the ingredient list reads: pork, spices, salt - my favorite kind of ingredients list). to the sausages sizzling in the cast iron i added onions, garlic, green peppers, and zucchini; when everything had cooked sufficiently i dumped in the last of a bottle of white wine that had been hiding at the back of the fridge, as well as some fresh tomatoes, and ended with some fresh parsley. i served this over spaghetti tossed simply in olive oil, and topped with parmesan cheese (oh cheese! you are back!). easy, flavorful, and oh so beer friendly.

the dairy has been going well with oliver. i have been taking it very slow, and limiting my dairy intake to one serving or so per day (and maybe a mini york peppermint patty, too). i have not yet had a glass of cold milk. i'm trying hard to take it slow, but it is taking a lot of effort. i can feel the restraint; and i know that if i slip over the edge, i'll fall way, way down. :)

we take ollie in to see a new pediatrician friday. i am hoping this one isn't as crazy as his current one. the last visit was the nail in the proverbial coffin with him. we wanted to ask about starting him on rice cereal since he's nearly at that age, has started waking up MORE during the night to eat (indicating to me he's a hungry monster), and, let's face it, he's a big boy. the initial packet of information the nurse gave us indicated that this would be fine, but when the doctor came in, he told us no way. i won't go into all the details but here are the highlights of what he told us: he shouldn't get solids until he starts to crawl, or he'll just get fat ("he has to WORK for his food" were his exact words); he shouldn't get rice cereal at all, or he'll just get fat (the doctor took the time to explain that is why kids are fat today); he should start on vegetables, and there's no need to wait between introducing different foods; and that the reason he eats so much is because he is thirsty, not hungry, and that once he's had 32 ounces in a day, we should just give him water. i won't address why this is all crazy; it's fairly obvious and i'll just get upset. but as ollie is the size of an average 6 month old, i think it's high time he gets rice cereal. so it's probable that regardless of what the next doctor says, he'll be getting some this weekend, though i can't foresee TWO crazies in such close proximity.

WFD: pork loin. we got a nice fat one from peapod. and green beans, since we have some we need to use. not sure what we'll do with the pork, but it'll probably be something basic: dijon, wine, stock. the contessa knows what i'm talking about.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

holy happiness, batman

i just realized that i have 2 giant lasagnas in the freezer, from my great food making extravaganza pre-baby. they have been sitting, cold, alone in the dark since by the time we would have gotten around to eating them, it was determined i couldn't have dairy. i have often thought longingly of the silky sheets of homemade pasta, the herb infused homemade marinara, the puddles of bechemel sauce, the fluffy, garlicky ricotta. since i seem to no longer be bound by the no-dairy restriction, i am freeeeeeeeeeee now to eat them. oh, the unfettered joy of it all. i'll let ollie get through this week to make sure we don't have some sort of incident but barring that... now i know what's for dinner on saturday. :)


oliver weighs 16 lbs, 10 1/2 oz. he is in the 80 - 90th percentile for height and weight. which means at 4 months, he's an average sized 6 month old. thank god he started out small! ;)

that being said, it is time to think about buying him some more clothes... he is fitting comfortably into his size 6 - 9 month clothing now, which means it's time to start looking at the 9 - 12 month set... i can't wait until summer when i can just toss him in a onesie and be done with it. ;)

Monday, March 3, 2008


our weekend was fantastic. we did absolutely nothing of note. :)

friday night, we enjoyed our leap day breakfast for dinner. we made pancakes using soy milk, and they actually turned out pretty darn good. bryan made giant ones, along with scrambled eggs, bacon, AND sausage. it was pretty yummy.

saturday, i got up bright and early and went to the spa for a massage. oh lordy, it was awesome. definitely adding that to my 6 week schedule. the masseuse was really nice, and wasn't afraid to apply some pressure. their facilities were very nice, including a GIGANTIC double shower to rinse off the oils afterwards. they do couples massages, so bryan and i are thinking that would be a good date to do every 2 - 3 months. i'm pretty sure i can find room the budget for that! ;)

afterwards, i headed home and jumped right back into my sweats to laze around the house. oliver's eating schedule was right on, but his sleeping was not. he just didn't seem to want to go down for a real nap at any point.

saturday was national pig day, so we had bacon for lunch. :) i think you're supposed to do something nice for a pig, but if you say "pig" to me, i'm going to say "oooo yum, pork!"

mom and dad came over for dinner, and to watch elizabeth the golden age. the movie was good, but a little slow. i do love cate blanchett, though. i made beef and guinness stew with dumplings. the stew was good, but could have been better. usually, i dredge the beef in seasoned flour before browning it, but couldn't do so since dad has problems with wheat. doing so allows the broth to thicken naturally into a delicious gravy. i made the dumplings with soy milk, and they turned out ok - not my best. bryan and mom thought they were good, but i wasn't thrilled with them. mom made a scrumptious apple crisp for dessert. oliver was falling asleep in our arms near the end of dinner, and went down without a hitch.

sunday, we woke up early (ollie definitely knows his schedule and does not vary!), and bryan made some delicious omelets with portobello mushrooms and canadian bacon (some really good organic stuff from peapod). we headed to church, where oliver charmed all the ladies in the nursery. :) he was, of course, super smiley and not the least bit fussy for them. everyone oohed and aahed over his incredible cuteness. he is a pretty cute baby! he was on a much better sleep schedule, and i even managed to get a little nap in. we spent the rest of the day lounging.

we ran a oliver + dairy test and he passed with flying colors, which means i can be back on dairy again, WOOHOOOOO! we took a bag of frozen milk i had pumped during christmas that we knew had dairy in it, and fed him a few ounces. it didn't appear to bother him at all. i ate some dairy at dinner as well, and he has been doing just fine. i am soooooooo happy. i'm not going to jump head first back into it; i don't think that would be good for either of our digestive systems. however, i'm so glad to be able to have some again. i had a bite of cheese yesterday afternoon, and teared up a little.

bryan smoked some ribs for dinner, and served that with some cabbage braised with apple juice and apple cider vinegar. i made my sweet cornbread - with real milk, and slathered it with real butter. it was soooooo good. i think i've perfected that recipe. it's ridiculously good.

the weather warmed up (to 40 or so) this weekend and melted some snow, and brought some rain (which wasn't snow, so i was happy). it was raining again this morning and has since turned into gigantic wet snow. which figures, since i'm wearing a skirt and heels today, left my boots at home, and i'm pretty sure there isn't a scraper in the prius. i'm going to be pretty much up the creek without a paddle this afternoon.

oliver has his 4 month doctor's appointment this afternoon. i can't wait to see how much he weighs! i'm betting it's at least 17 pounds if not 18. he's gigantic!!!

here's some oliver cuteness to start your week off right (the video is dark but it's the sound you want anyways!).

WFD: meatloaf! bryan made a duxelle with the leftover portobellos, so we're going to put that in the meatloaf, mmmm. i'm thinking some glazed carrots (BUTTER) and mashed potatoes (CREAM AND BUTTER) on the side. oh dairy, how i love thee, let me count the ways.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

somewhere between the snowflakes
i found my old self for a moment again
and remembered what the world looked like through her eyes
how far away that was
and what has changed since
my pen may no longer be ink
but the thought still reverberates in harmony