Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Playing Favorites

Favorite game

Favorite hat

Favorite girl

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Confessions of a Sunny Saturday

A beautiful Saturday such as today is perfect for lounging on the Green Space (the area of lush green grass, trees and shrubbery on the NPU campus - which happens to be across the street from our apartment), munching on double chocolate cookies, reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, baking crusty delicious artisan bread, and hanging out with the little girl - listening to her endless stream of babble...

This day also lends itself to certain confessions which I feel compelled to disclose. Partly because this lovely cool weather may have messed with my head, and partly because I always try to be as honest with myself as possible.

So here it goes.

Confession #1: I baked Triple Threat Chocolate Chip cookies the other night, burned half of them, and then served them to my friends at our Taco night. I also only allowed each person two cookies. Much to my chagrin, Dan consumed five and Eric M. had four. Looking in the container the next morning, I noticed that all the burned cookies remained and all the non-burned ones had been eaten. I guess it serves me right for being selfish.
Also, the recipe was supposed to make 2 1/2 dozen cookies and made barely 2 dozen. This might have something to do with the fact that the batter was WAY better than the actual cookie. Maybe that should be confession #2.

Confession #3: I love pizza. That saying, I make pizza at least once a week. At least once. To give myself some credit, though, my crust is whole wheat and the pizza rarely, if ever, has meat on it. Mostly just veggies and cheese. By the way, next time you make pizza, make half of your cheese PepperJack for a nice zesty kick!

Confession #4: Sometimes when Alexandria wakes up from a nap, I leave her in her crib just a little longer so I can get something done. I'm sure I'm not the only mom out there that sees nothing wrong with letting the babe cry a bit....(I hope)

Confession #5: Speaking of Alexandria, whenever I change a poopy diaper, it magically gets all over her body, clothes, me, and anything else that's nearby. I don't have any clue as to how this happens. It is one of those phenomenons that offers no explanation but always occurs without exception. That being said, I am glad (for my laundry pile's sake) that my daughter chooses to only poop once a week.

Confession #6: You know those church services where the speaker makes everyone close their eyes and then asks people to raise their hands if you are "this-and-this" and so on?
I peek.

Confession #7: I let Alexandria watch Glee. As dumb as the show is, I simply can't get away from it.

Confession #8: I read cookbooks like they are the latest mystery novel. I love them. Especially the ones with gorgeous pictures that I can guess at the ingredients and then cook my own version.

Confession #9: Speaking of cookbooks, I just bought a new one and when it arrived in the mail I danced around like the time my parents told me I could get a puppy (That was before we knew she was a demon dog, obviously). It is all about baking glorious Artisan bread the easiest way possible by mixing up a huge batch of dough (which takes like 7 mins) and storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks! Anytime you want fresh bread, you just cut off a hunk of dough, let it rise for 40 mins on the counter, and then pop it in the oven! My first loaf, a round crusty Boule, is about to go in the oven as I type this. I bake so much homemade bread as it is that I thought I might give this a try - especially since it cuts so much time out of the preparation process.

Confession #10: In a previous post, I misspelled "faux hawk" and was reprimanded for it by an avid faux hawk wearer. As an apology and to make up for my spelling blunder, I thought that I would pay tribute to the faux hawk by putting up pictures of my favorite faux hawk wearers.

Here is Lucas, the center man, proudly showing off his faux-hawked head.

And here is Alexandria, who loves to impress Luc, proving that even girls can have faux hawks if done tastefully.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Grace of Forgiveness

One of my best friends spoke into my life last night about a major disagreement that my brother and I had recently. The whole incident has more or less caused a giant rift between us, which we are both unsuccessfully trying to ignore. As I was talking about the situation with Dan, he stated very gently that it didn't sound like I had forgiven my brother and made things right.

I read this article by one of my former Bible professors this morning and realized that Dan was speaking truth. http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/08/imagine-a-world-8.html

May the grace of forgiveness transform us today into a loving people after God's own heart.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You know your husband's from Nebraska...

....when you find this on your grill instead of hamburgers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Giant Baby Invades the NPU Green Space!!! and other crazy tales...

It's Friday. And this week I have seen some crazy things. And had some crazy things happen to me. For one, I saw this adorable baby turn into a giant on the green space (thanks to Eric's fish-eye lens).

She's like the soft pudgy version of Baby Godzilla (if you haven't seen that film, you may be missing out).

2. I walked past a giant intimidating sunflower growing on the side of Lincoln Ave. It was taller than me (not a hard thing to do) and looked down on me smugly as I walked by. I had the eerie feeling that this flower was not just an ordinary part of vegetation. It had feelings. And with that, I sped up my walking pace and decided that flowers should not be allowed to grow past the human knee.

3. I encountered a pile of discarded clothing on the bridge that crosses the North Branch of the Chicago River. First of all, I don't actually know if anyone can physically survive a swim in the semi-toxic waters of the Chicago River. Secondly, with all the discarded clothing I see around here (and when I say clothing, I literally mean pants, shirt, socks, shoes) I am rather surprised that I have not run into more naked people casually strolling about.

4. While walking to the baby's bedroom to put Alexandria down for her nap, I stepped into something slimy. Thinking Alexandria had spit up on the floor while I was carrying her, I looked down to assess the damage. Unfortunately, there was no spit up to be seen. There was my bare foot, smack dab in the middle of a gooey brown mess of cat barf.

Alexandria's nap was temporarily delayed while I hollered for the next five minutes.

5. I caught a weird post-baby, pre-moving cleaning syndrome. In the midst of creating "keep," "give away" and "reorganize" piles, I realized halfway in that I took on a job that is slightly too big for me to handle. We have SO MUCH baby stuff! I forgot that a growing baby means more clothes.....all the time! In a one bedroom apartment with absolutely NO storage space, it is getting to be a problem navigating our back rooms. Village Discount is going to get a jackpot. And no, we're not moving. Which is why it's weird that I caught the pre-moving cleaning out bug.

6. There has been no chocolate in our house in over two weeks. There is DEFINITELY something VERY wrong with this situation. I plan to remedy that today before something terrible happens. After all, chocolate is a very serious business around here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ten Things Thursday

A college friend of mine writes a weekly "Ten things Tuesday" post on her blog that I stole this very non-original theme from. The idea is to list 10 things that made you smile in the past week and why. Of course, I missed the Tuesday deadline, so I will stick with the trendy T's and just give it a go on this sultry hot Thursday.

1. Discovering that my blog now has SIX followers! I know. I am thrilled. (as you can see, it doesn't take much to make me happy) And for those of you out there who read my blog and are not listed as followers (aka....my parents), you can make me even happier by officially pushing the follow button on the right hand side of the screen.

2. Having my final PT appointment this morning!!!!!!! It has been a long road to recovery, but I made it! Now on to baby #2.

just kidding.

3. I baked a LUSCIOUS Rhubarb Tart which Eric and I enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days in a row. It was accompanied by my heavenly chocolate banana bread. We are very healthy over here as you can see. And yes, I have decided as of today to start taking pictures of my baking/cooking sprees so that I can make your mouths water along with mine...

4. Tickling Alexandria until she laughs! Seriously, her laugh is the most adorable sound I have ever heard. Plus, she still hasn't quite figured out what is happening when she laughs, and the sound of it startles her. Which then makes me laugh.

5. I put Alexandria in a little yellow dress that is 40 years old for the wedding that we went to this past weekend. She looked like a little doll. And got probably as much attention as the bride.

6. The Nacho Bar at Brian and Beth's wedding. Best idea EVER!!! We flew out to Nebraska this past weekend for Eric's older brother's wedding. Being a part of the Staswick family is always a joy and this last weekend was filled with plenty of it! Hooray for Brian and his wife Beth! (These Staswick boys definitely have a thing for girls named Beth. ;)

7. In the airport, as I was collecting my belongings off of the x-ray strip in security, one of the guards came up to me and said, "I like your baby's hair." And that was it. For those of you who don't know, Alexandria's hair is thick, wavy, at least an inch long and (this is the best part) sticks straight up. She pretty much has a permanent faux-hawk and I think it is hilarious. Apparently the security guard did too.

8. Jack found a "chicco" bug, swatted it off the wall, killed it, ate it, and then paced the room crying for the next hour looking for it. He also likes to swim. I have the coolest cats ever.

9. I created approximately 15 feet of a collage (18 inches tall) in two days. It is AWESOME and will soon be hanging up in my friend Luc's bedroom. Only 5 more feet or so left to collage...

10. My brother texted me at 7:30 this morning just to see how my day was going. Now, realize that at 7:30 in the morning I am usually either just waking up, or still asleep (Alexandria usually sleeps until 8). So while it is a little impractical for me to tell him how my day is going at 7:30 am, it's the fact that he cares about me enough to even ask every day how I am. I love my brother.

11. Yes, one more thing. Eric. Every time he walks into the room, Alexandria gets super excited and starts smiling and googling like crazy. I pretty much do the same thing (poor guy). We love him to death. LOVE HIM! It's been two years and two months and I still firmly believe that I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Eric as my husband. And that thought makes me smile every single day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The most perfect music

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”
J.M. Barrie

Last night Alexandria laughed for the first time. It was magical. And I finally understood what J.M. Barrie was talking about. Because if a baby's laugh wasn't the beginning of fairies, then I don't think that they would ever have come into existence.