Last week Jack and Madeline both had to go to the doctor for their yearly check. Since their birthdays are 4 days apart, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and take them together.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The past few weeks have been really cold here in Utah, along with lots of snow. It's this time of the year that is the hardest for me - mentally and emotionally. There's not much sun and I don't usually go outside except to scurry to and from my car and to get the mail.
Since we live on the lake, there is lots of fog in the morning, which can be dangerous, but usually by the time I have to take Jack to pre-school the sun is out and the fog leaves the trees looking beautiful. The other day as I was on my way into town, I couldn't resist and pulled over to the side of the road to take this picture at the park near our house.
But as I mentioned before, the doldrums of winter can get even the best of us down. Do you ever feel like my yard rooster? Up to your neck in "blah"?
Here is another picture of the yard rooster to give you some perspective. . .
Sometimes the only thing that will make you feel good is some good old fashioned comfort food. I have found just the perfect thing - gourmet macaroni and cheese. I know what you are thinking - GOURMET Mac-n-Cheese? That's an oxymoron! Well, just wait until you try it. I'm not claiming that it is low-fat, but hey it's the third week of January and it's about this time I fall off the "eat only healthy things" wagon anyway.
Try it you might like it!
1 box elbow macaroni (16 oz)
1 lb. bacon
1 medium onion, diced
5 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. grated Fontina cheese*
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
1 1/2 c. grated chedder jack cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesean cheese
3 tbsp. chopped parseley
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees, grease a 9x13x2 baking dish
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package and drain.
3. Saute bacon until crisp. Remove, crumble when cool and reserve. Add onion to bacon drippings; saute until soft. Add butter to pot and melt, stirring.
4. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until smooth and light brown in color. Whisk in mustard. Gradually add milk and cream, whisking.
5. Stir in thyme, bay leave and salt. Bring to a simmer. Stir frequently, simmering, for 15 minutes.
6. Quickly mix in blue cheese, 1 c. Fontina cheese, 1 c. cheddar jack cheese, 1/2 c. parmesean cheese. Stir until all cheeses are melted.
7. Add pasta to cheese and stir until coated. Pour in baking dish. In a small bowl mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over pasta.
8. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
* I couldn't find Fontina cheese at my local grocery store (something I plan to take up with Joe Albertson) so I just increased the cheddar jack cheese to 3 cups. The original recipe also called for 3/4 c. Gruyere cheese, but when I did find it, it was $17 for about 1/4 lb. - not really in my budget for just one meal, so I decided to just increase the cheddar jack and parmesean to compensate.
Despite the modifications it turned out great and my family loved it. Well, everyone except for Jack - the word picky eater doesn't even BEGIN to describe him.
If you make it, let me know what you think.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Before you start this post, I want you to rest assured that I have already been nominated for "Mother of the Year" for this incident that you are about to read, so you don't need to go to the trouble. . . .
Before they operate, they have you draw on the body part that is being operated on and initial it. Just to make sure they get the right one. Here is Jade's foot with her autograph and Dr. G's.
Jade has spent the past few days at home either on the couch or in her bed and Jack has appointed himself as her personal nurse. Two days ago when she came upstairs in the morning, Jack got out the down blanket (he calls it "Puffy") and arranged some pillows on the couch so she could put her foot up. Then he was very solicitous about getting her water, making sure the TV was on the right channel etc. He is such a sweet boy - she couldn't ask for a better nursemaid!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
This post is all about the "lessons" that my loving husband learned spending a week at home with us during the holidays.
First let me explain. Since Mark works everyday he is not home much to see what "really" goes on around here during the day.
Oh, sure I try to tell him about how crazy it is to take the kids to run errands. I try to make him understand that not only do they have a time limit as to how long they will tolerate running here and there, but we also have a "place limit" - meaning that regardless of how short or long it is they don't like to go to more than say 3 different places.
So, that being said, here is LESSON #1:
When taking the kids to Wal-Mart, the grocery store or any other place that offers a cart for the almost 3 year old to ride in - TAKE IT and INSIST that said 3 year old rides IN THE CART!
When we went to Wal-Mart we got a cart, but Madeline was balking at riding in the cart. Loving Husband said "Oh, it's OK, she can just ride on the back and hold on while her brother walks beside us - - really it will be fine."
This is where I smirk to myself "Amateur". Outwardly I say "OK Honey, but you are responsible for keeping track of them while we shop."
Sure enough as soon as we get anywhere near something they find interesting - Madeline bails off the cart and follows her brother to investigate.
Loving Husband patiently stops and rounds them up - over to the cart - and explains that they can't just be running off. (Yea, you GO honey!)
We go a little further and the same thing happens again - - and again - - and again. What can I say? My kids are kind of like Rednecks - - "Ohhh, look somethin' ShInY! I must touch it!!"
We manage to make it out of Wal-Mart and then it is on to Target.
Same scenario with the cart. Madeline refusing to get in - Loving Husband insisting that she "promise" to stay on the cart and not jump off at will. Then giving in and letting her ride on the "suicide step" on the back.
Did the man learn NOTHING from the previous stop?!?!
Yeah, you know what happened - lots of shiny things in Target.
As we are loading the kids into the car, EXASPERATED Loving Husbands tells me "taking these two anywhere is like trying to heard cats!!"
Oh, you don't say?!?
Our last stop was Costco. This time as we approach the cart, Madeline starts with the whole "I don't want to get in" business and Loving Husband firmly tells her "No way in the world am I letting you ride on the back - you are riding IN THE CART!"
What a GREAT idea!
If you see something that could possibly make a mess - make sure it is out of reach of the 3 year old.
One day, Mark changed Madeline's diaper and used baby powder (she calls it baby sauce). After changing her HE LEFT THE POWDER ON A LOW SHELF IN THE CLOSET!! He goes away thinking all is well and he's the man - changing her diaper (he actually does that regularly) AND using baby powder besides!
Shortly thereafter, we smell a strong odor of baby powder - Loving Husband goes to investigate. The ENTIRE room is covered in baby powder! Mark then asks Madeline "what happened here?" and she tells him that she made it SNOW in her room.
When I asked Loving Husband WHY he left the baby powder somewhere where she could reach it, his response was (this is priceless) "I never thought that she would get into it and make it snow!" I told him that he was practically INVITING her to get into it - she is "busy" that way.
I'm still cleaning up baby powder.
One day after a particularly crazy day - the kids were whining, we were tired and it was only 5:00 pm - Loving Husband turned to me and said "you know that thing you have on the fridge that says Stay-at-Home Moms would make around $134,000 per year if paid for all that they do?"
Me: Yeah, what about it?
Loving Husband: You are sooo underpaid! That $134k is just not nearly enough!!
Ahh vindication. I love being at home even though it has it's moments - what job doesn't?
But what made my day, week, and month was that my Loving Husband realized just how much physical and mental work it is to be at home all day. This job is not for wimps!!
P.S. He was REALLY looking forward to going back to work on Monday.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Madeline turned 3 last week and one of her presents was a "Sleeping Beauty" movie. When she opened it she said . . . .
"Ohhh, Sleeping Beauty! I LOVE this movie - it has evil in it."
Should I be concerned?!?
Four words here: Run - - For - - My - - Money!!