Monthly Archives: July 2009

Mission Impossible

Little O has been spending lots of time with DADA.  This means a few more dare-devil tricks. Maybe it’s the eight or so years the Huz spent hanging things and people from the ceiling, but he loves turning kids upside down.  Little O is now a big fan!

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Veg-Tastic Kitchen Update

The Huz and Parakeet are now 1/4 of the way through their CSA – 5 weeks. The Kohlrabi is done. At least two weeks of it. There probably won’t be more. The Parakeet turned it into Kohlrabi/Squash Empanadas one night, a lovely chicken sausage and veggie saute another night and finally ‘cheesy kohlrabi’ which was a lot like scalloped potatoes.
Verdict: She likes the Kohlrabi.

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So much lettuce. The Parakeet has been experimenting with the salad dressings and that seems to be the best plan. Just keep experimenting – use olive oil, lemon juice, some herbs, some pepper and maybe a cheese or a different vinegar.  It’s working out fine and no more $4 a bottle dressings.
She got a huge head of red cabbage last week.  She made a Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw for a church potluck.  The nice surprise there was that the salad was actually purple!
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This picture looks a little yucky, but it was actually very good.

She also had quite a few zucchini. Little O really like the  pureed zucchini, but she also made two loaves of zucchini bread AND a delicious stuffed zucchini.  How can you go wrong with zucchini, cheese, and bread?
There were beets.  Little O also like those pureed.  The Parakeet took the other two and did a delicious arugula salad for date night with the Huz on Sunday. After O went to bed, the Huz grilled two ribeyes, the Parakeet made salads and kohlrabi.  They sat down at a nicely set table like two adults. It was really fun.  Date Night IN turns out to be a good idea, too.
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Every week, they get a fresh herb in addition to the veggies and fruit.  The first two weeks were mint – yum, citrus salads and mojitos.  The second two weeks – parsley.  Curly and Flat-leafed. Ugh.  To quote the Huz, “how much stuff do they want me to garnish?”
So, in at attempt to use it all up, the Parakeet made a Parsley Pesto last week. They ate it with pasta and chicken.  Verdict: Bo-to the-Ring. Still Parsley – just a little olive oil and pine nuts with it.
This last week was Dill – so the Huz is hoping to grill some salmon and potatoes. Yummmmm.
So, they are still loving the organic, farm-fresh veggies every week.  It means they HAVE to cook, but that can’t be a bad thing.  Yay for CSA.

Monday News 07/20

Little O.  Well, he just isn’t so little anymore.  This Monday New-Stuff update he is eleven months old! Seriously?  Almost a year? Gasp. Sigh. Aack.

Speaking of dramatic sounds, Little O’s latest trick is to fake sneeze.  His mother, the Parakeet, inherited sneezing tactfully from her father.  She could wake the neighbors.  It’s all in the wind-up.  So, after listening to his mom a few mornings ago, Little O looked at her and said, AAAA tsoo.  Then, he laughed.  He will now give you an AAAtsoo and a grin as long as you do it first.  Imitation: This could be hours of fun.

Last Tuesday, Little O took his second trip to the city pool.  No one else was there this time except an elderly woman named Cookie who was trying to get over a water accident from fifty years ago.  Yes. That’s Right.
So, Cookie struggled to hang on to the ledge and maybe grab a kickboard while Little O clung to Mom begging for some sunshine.  What a pair.  This trip, he did let her put him on his tummy and move him around through te water with motorboat sounds.  Ultimately, he was much more interested in the Life Guard’s tennis ball than a funnoodle.  Oh Well – she’ll have to force him to love the water later in life.

The Sad first of last week involved Little O’s strength.  He is so excited to be walking that he must be carrying something. All the time. Even if it is heavy.  Everywhere he goes.  He found a little book box the Parakeet has had since she was small. It is made of wood and has a bear in a dress painted on the side.  Little O got it by both sides and began to walk with it.  The Parakeet was super nervous.  He dropped it once or twice, but just picked it up again.  Then, he dropped it a third time. On his toe.  There was blood. There was crying.  It was all quite dramatic.  Mom and Dad were both home to kiss it and put a band-aid on it.  Little O appreciated the attention, but quickly disposed of the band-aid.  Eh, he’s fine.

So…. cuter than cuteness – call Captain Cute of Cutetown- Little O is seeking out affection.  He was such a snuggly newborn, if you recall. Put me in the Moby, please. Never set me down. Not even for an itty bitty teeny tiny newborn minute.  Then, that sort of slowed down. It’s baaaack.  Little O will walk over to Mom or Dad as quick as his toddler feet will carry him and HUG their legs.  It will melt the iciest of hearts. It. Is. Adorable.  Who doesn’t want an eleven-month old hugging their legs? A grump. That’s who.  Pretty soon, he’ll do it to other people, too.  Hopefully in time for their next family trip. 

Thanks for the Hugs, Little O.

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Re-Claim, Re-Organize

The Parakeet is taking part in a year-long life and business coaching program.  It may sound a little wackadoo zoo to you, but it is going really well, and she will tell you more about it if you email her.  The whole first month focused on Choice Management, commonly called Time Management.  Seriously – there were HUGE lessons during these few weeks. The Parakeet feels greater control and calm throughout each of her days.  She has broken some old habits and replaced them with healthier ones.  One big assignment that took her a while to commit to, however, was ‘re-claiming’ her office space.  The assignment was to take 2-5 hours and take everything out of the office that was not attached to the floor.  Then, put it back in after throwing, tossing, or moving out everything extraneous.  Basically – create systems, get organized.  Start a “to-file” pile, but do not file during this time.  Just get the job done.
Well, the Parakeet was so scared of this task.  Over the past year, her office has Imploded, Exploded, and Vomited.  Her once adorable sun-room has become the clutter magnet of the house holding everything from empty formula cans to Arbonne samples to Family pictures.  Aack.
But she knew it would feel so good to have in clean and organized. She just didn’t believe it would take only 2-5 hours – it looked so overhwhelming. She tried to focus on how it would feel to have it done. 
When she could no longer ignore that the messy Office was preventing her from working, she decided that Saturday night would be the time. She would put O to bed and tackle the room.  She would have to finish because O can’t have all that stuff in the living room come morning. 
The Huz went to the shop because he needed to work, and he did not want to witness the horror.
The Parakeet read every blog she could think of in a small effort to procrastinate and then turned off the computer. No distractions.

BEFORE (it is a brave thing to bare one’s cluttered rooms, so be gentle)
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She began around 7:45.  By 8:30, she had everything in the living room:

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and by 11:45 – yes, on a Saturday night (yay! parenthood) -she was done. Holy Moly. What a Project.  She threw out some old things and put some things in other closets.  She should have a garage sale – seriously.  Maybe there will be time for that in September. 
It was such a GREAT feeling to have everything its place – a new place, but a place 🙂
Sometimes the Artist personality is so messy and resists order.  Then, when things are tidy all of the creative urges come up again – maybe there actually  needs to be room and space for creative thoughts.  Surely there are people who have written books about that concept already.
NOW:
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Hee. It’s so much darker in the after shots.  Well, that was totally worth four hours.  Where can you spend four hours this week? What space do you want to re-claim?
Let’s hope the Parakeet is not writing about this room again next July

By the way, the most ridiculous thing found in the office came in the form of an office supply.  The Parakeet loves office supplies and re-uses them forever to be a bit more ‘green’ and budget-friendly.  She is a fan of erasble tab dividers for ring binders and has used them for a long time. Apparently.  She threw one out last night that said “Vietnam”.  Now, nothing the Parakeet ever would have to label “Vietnam” could have happened since highschool history classes.  So, good thing, the Parakeet moved some erasable tab dividers from Florida to Texas to Maine to Florida to Chicago to three different apartments.  Yeesh.

Fun With Da-Da

The Parakeet and Huz are both working here and there and everywhere.  Lately, though, the Huz has been able to stay home with Owen while the Parakeet goes downtown to the “Office” two days a week.  This has saved them a little money on babysitting and is great for Little O.
He and Dad have quite a morning routine.  The Huz does things differently than the Parakeet sometimes, but it really works for the boys.  Little O is now very excited to see Da-Da.  When he comes in the room, he smiles and yells.  As he toddles out of a room, the Huz has only to yell “Do, Do, Do, Do” and Little O stops, turns arounds, smiles and falls to the floor. He is so happy to know that Da-Da is about to scoop him back up and run with him back to the living room.
Last Friday morning, the Parakeet had to go to the office for an unexpected emergency.  Boo.
So, the Huz stayed home from his shop to play with Little O.  They built a fort in the living room and O had a super fun morning.
While all of this financial re-arranging, schedule-hopping, penny-pinching, credit-card finaggling, savings-draining, risk-taking year has been super stressful, the benefit has been that Little O is growing up with a strong presence from both Mom and Dad. The Parakeet has a parenting partner in the Huz and they are making it work.

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monday news 7/13

This update is a bit late. 1000 pardons.

Little O still does not cease to amaze his parents.
A Few Firsts:

Yesterday, they took O to the nursery at church from the get-go.  Usually, he starts service with them and then as he gets more vocal or more antsy – they may take him down to the nursery (yes, this is the midwest, the church has a basement with a kitchen and nursery) or walk him around.  Well, with all the walking he’s doing these days – they didn’t kid themselves and O went to nursery from the get-go.  He did great and apparently played with a little boy named Nathan the whole time.  The Parakeet was strangely nervous about it, though, and almost left to go get him twice.  She also missed carrying him up front during communion for his blessing.

Little O is now doing squats. Yep. He squats and puts his hands out like a chicken and goes “hoo, hoo”.  The Huz can get him to do it by imitation.  It is cracking them up daily.  Daily.

Last week O went to his first Cubs Game!! Maybe that deserves its own post…

Last week O also went to the city pool for the first time.  The Parakeet got them both sun-screened up and drove over for the 45 minutes of Family Tot Swim.  She bravely wore a bathing suit *ahem* and carried her babe into the pool one step at a time.  Someone needs to let Chicago know that it is July. The water was chilly!  Little O did not cry but he clung to her very very tightly.  He kept looking at her like, “mom, what are we doing? my bottom is sooo cold.”  She got him to put his face in twice, but he coughed a lot.  She also got him to grab a fun-noodle, but he never wanted to lay on his back as the lifeguards kept suggesting.  He did his best and he was adorable. 

New Foods: Kale – he didn’t mind it one bit.  Turnips – not so much, should have mashed them more   Little O can not get enough of his yogurt. He is very sad when the yogurt is done.

Actually, that was a bit of a first – the disappointment.  Little O is beginning to get VERY upset when he is not allowed to do what he wants to do.  For example, Little O is toddling towards the bathroom excitedly.  The Parakeet shuts the bathroom door. Little O turns around, sticks his lower lip down below his chin and bellows.  He balls his little fists and wills his face the color of a tomato.  The Parakeet laughs.  Fifteen seconds pass. He goes on to something else.  Could this be the beginning of tantrums? Oh, help them. He’s not even one.
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Becoming Mama

The Parakeet truly believes to parent well you must make decisions, decisions about the kind of parent you want to be.  You must be mindful and not assume you always know what you’re doing.  She reads books and articles on the topic. She talks to other moms and dads about their philosophies. She keeps the Huz up late with her current inquiries.  She’s been thinking a lot about parenting lately, about the mother she wants to be, which led her naturally to consider the kind of child she wants to raise. 

The Parakeet would like to raise a boy who
thanks God for each day
is hopeful
seeks adventure
is kind to others
does not raise a hand in anger
thinks before he speaks
stands for the elderly on the bus
treats living things with respect
cares for his body
is responsible with the gifts he acquires
is ambitious in utilizing his talents
dreams
appreciates art
spends time in nature
loves his mother and father
honors his wife
surrounds himself with great friends
serves his community
and knows that he is an amazing and loved child of God

The Parakeet has read much about different parenting and learning styles lately.  She is working to create a lovely and loving environment in which Little O can grow.  The more she reads and the more she inquires among other parents, young and old, she has come to realize that to raise the boy she hopes to raise
she must become a person who:
thanks God for each day
is hopeful
seeks adventure
is kind to others
does not raise a hand in anger
thinks before she speaks
stands for the elderly on the bus
treats living things with respect
cares for her body
is responsible with the gifts she acquires
is ambitious in utilizing her talents
dreams
appreciates art
spends time in nature
loves her mother and father
honors her husband
surrounds herself with great friends
serves her community
and knows that she is an amazing and loved child of God

Then, she could be a Great Mama.