Thursday, January 30, 2014

A list

Here's a list in no particular order of the various things running through my head:
  1. Copeland has been sick the past couple of weeks and it breaks my heart.  It's mostly been cough/cold but he has run a brief low temperature as well.  I remember reading in several "new working mom" books that I would feel helpless the first time my son got sick because I'm so used to being in control and it is absolutely true.  It's such a crazy feeling to know I can't do anything about it because at this point in my life at my age I've been through enough that I pretty much never feel ineffectual like I do right now.  I wish I could just take it out of him and put it in me.  
  2. I love, love, LOVE Copeland's day care.  I miss him so dearly during the day but I am so happy with where we chose to send him.  They always give us written report cards and tell us verbally every day how he was and what he was doing and who he was playing with. They call if they think there's anything we'd like to know before we pick him up and we also often get pictures of fun activities, such as finger painting.  Finger painting at 4 months old! We recently received a picture of all the little babies done up for the Broncos game:  the boys had black stripes under their eyes and the girls had orange and blue paper "skirts".  Adorable! And I love this one of him hanging out with some of the other babies.
  3. I was driving in my car the other day and a Sublime song came on.  I thought "Oh I love this song.  I used to listen to this all the time in high school."  Then the song referenced 1992 and I thought "Geez, 1992, that was forever ago!  Why was I still listening to this old music in high school?"  And then I remembered:  I started high school in 1994...20 years ago!!! What?!?!  How is this possible?  I don't feel like I started high school 20 years ago!  I don't think I act like I started high school 20 years ago!  Well....wait.  Let me think...I dooo go to bed at approximately 9 pm every night.  I guess I do have a full time job.  And a child.  And assets like a house and car.  And I do responsible things like pay bills, grocery shop, clean house, etc.  So maybe I am a bona fide adult?  This just doesn't seem possible.  I'm pretty sure I'm still 18ish at heart.
  4. I have some important questions:  When will my pregnancy induced sweet tooth go away?  Will my feet ever shrink back to my pre-baby size?  When will I learn how to paint my fingernails without also painting a large portion of my finger skin?  Why can't I have 4 day work weeks and 3 day weekends?  Why is Peanut so mean to China and Mojo?  
  5. I love Amazon Prime.
  6. I really, really want a KitchenAid mixer and some Pioneer Woman cookbooks.  (Both things I'm sure I could order off of Amazon Prime).  Does this make me more adultish?  I also would like a real camera that is not also a phone/music device/email/text/app multi-purpose tool (aka my iPhone).  I think all these wants are definitely very adult like.
  7. I love to slide across our wood floors in my socks.  Does this refute any of the above evidence that I'm adult?
  8. Until next time...stay classy dear blog readers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Copeland is 4 Months Old!!!

Copeland turned 4 months old last Friday and I can't believe it!  My how he is growing!  His personality is emerging more and more each day and he continues to be an absolute delight.  He is pretty much all smiles.  Every day at day care his report card says he was cheerful and content. Only once did he come home with a "sensitive" report and that was when he wasn't feeling very well because of his 4 month vaccinations and a cough/cold he's fighting.  Here are some of the things going on with him at this age:

  • He has found his voice and talks to us all the time and also works in some squeals and Tarzan like hollering.  Hilarious!
  • Great hand control - as evidenced by swatting, pushing, and grabbing during schnoz busting (which is what I call it when I have to mine for boogers) and when grabbing for toys.
  • Picking at EVERYTHING!  Especially Daddy's arm hairs and cuticles.  This isn't a new habit but he's getting even better at it with the improved hand control.
  • Even more active than he used to be.  Dressing and diapering him should be an Olympic sport.  He rolls back and forth and scooches forward and squirms and kicks...
  • He loves to try to stick everything he gets ahold of into his mouth, including Mommy's hands, clothes, burp cloths, etc.
  • He absolutely loves his full head of hair and likes to touch it and run his fingers through it.  
  • Sleeping through the night - usually he sleeps for 6.5 to 8.5 hours at a time.  We are very grateful!
  • Splashing in the bath tub!  This has become a new favorite and the other day when I walked into the bathroom the mirror and Daddy were completely soaked from the splashing.
  • He's outgrown all his 3 month clothes and is now wearing some six month stuff but he's kind of at a weird stage where not much of what we have fits him, likely because he is so long and skinny, so he gets to wear the same outfits over and over again. He doesn't seem to mind.
  • He loves watching lights - especially the flickering from the TV.
  • He has already become a teacher's pet at day care.  One of his teachers always gushes about what a doll he is and Daddy says he is wooing all the ladies there.
  • SLOBBER!  I don't think teeth are that far off!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Goodbye Old Friend

It's silly of me really.  But I can't lie - I'm sad to say goodbye to the Hondallac.  It's provided 10 years 2.5 months and 151,195 miles of dependability.  It's been around for so many life changes. When I think about it, basically the Hondallac has been with me for pretty much my entire adult life.  So what all has it seen/been through with us?
  • Grad School at KU when I drove every day from KC to Lawrence - this was actually why I got the Hondallac.  Ryan wanted me to be in something dependable for my many hours on the road.
  • My first professional corporate tax job - downtown KC!  I felt like such a grown-up!
  • Four dogs (Wyco, China, Peanut, Mojo) - and every single one of them has ridden in that car although one of them is no longer with us and we miss him dearly
  • Five other owned cars (Ryan's grandfather's truck, Batmobile, Olive, The Church Lady, and Ryan's new truck I haven't named yet) and several company vehicles...none of them have outlasted the Hondallac
  • Bumblebee - the beginning of our awesome, outdoor life we have here in Colorado (clearly the Hondallac never pulled Bumblebee but I thought I should mention it)
  • Our first house we bought - boy were we young and so proud.  What a change from apartment living and we even had a large two-car garage for the Hondallac! 
  • Our move to Colorado - from an extended stay to an apartment to our home where we've built our lives and the Hondallac continued to stay in the garage until I got Olive (and no the Hondallac didn't become the red-headed stepchild it's just that whatever it is I'm driving gets the garage space beside The Church Lady and Ryan parks outside)
  • Various trips back to Kansas and down to Texas to see close friends
  • Three different jobs for me in Denver - all downtown so I drove pretty much the same route every single weekday (and let's be honest - several weekends during busy season) ever since we've lived here
  • Ryan's grad school (online so there was technically no driving)
  • Work travel - and consequently, many, many stays in airport parking for the Hondallac
  • Four different jobs for Ryan in CO - one of them a loooong drive away, which was when Ryan started driving the Hondallac and I got Olive
  • Countless 5Ks, half marathons, marathons, and triathlons - I remember driving the Hondallac to Ryan's first marathon in Estes Park.  
  • The purchase of our condo - a dream come true.  Technically I never drove the Hondallac up the mountain since we've had the condo but I remember one day when I went skiing by myself and it was super snowy and windy for the entire drive up and back and for the time while I was skiing and it was such an AWESOME day because no one else braved the drive or the skiing so I had the road and the ski runs seemingly to myself.  I felt safe in that car the whole time.
  • Our first child, Copeland - our blessing and joy.  And while he did fit in the back of the Hondallac, it definitely wasn't as convenient as Olive or Ryan's new truck.
The Hondallac was my first and only brand new car.  I remember picking it from the showroom floor and watching them drive it off for me.  I remember shining a flashlight on it to see the blue sparkles in the black paint.  I remember thinking how cool it was to have sunroof.  I remember thinking how fancy I was to have radio controls on my steering wheel.  I remember loving that car every day from the day I got it until now...the day I sold it.  Honestly, if I would have chosen a four door way back then I probably wouldn't be selling it now (but I didn't want four doors all those years ago and I don't regret my choice)...but, while the Hondallac is still a perfectly good and dependable car, it just doesn't work for our family anymore now that we have our sweet Copeland. So here we are - passing the Hondallac on to another young girl who hopefully loves it and gets just as much wonderful use out of it as I did.  Goodbye dear, old friend.  You were a good one and will always hold a place in my heart as the first nice thing I ever bought and as a constant fixture in my changing life for over 10 years.

I cried.  So Ryan bought me this.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Holiday Meals

I must write about some of the meals I made over the holidays because I made some pretty awesome stuff if I do say so myself.  Let's start with Christmas dinner.  Mmmmmmmm.  My mouth is kind of watering just thinking about it right now...  Anyway, my sister in law Wendy is a fabulous cook and every year for Christmas she makes delectable beef tenderloin that we always completely devour.  I wanted to take that tradition and start making beef tenderloin for our little family every year for Christmas so Wendy sent me a recipe for spice rubbed beef tenderloin with red wine sauce.  It was so easy and SO YUMMY.  I already posted a  picture in a previous post but let me post it again so you can take in all the beauty.
So now let's talk about those burgundy mushrooms.  Oh those glorious burgundy mushrooms that I've already made once since Christmas because I loved them so much.  I got that recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  I love The Pioneer Woman.  I think we were supposed to be friends.  The minute I discovered her I started reading her blog and trying her online recipes.  For some reason I don't actually have any of her three cookbooks which just seems silly and wrong.  Anyway, if you haven't heard of her, she is a ranch wife and mother of four children who started blogging when all her children were old enough to leave the house for a bit during the day to work the ranch.  She blogs about everything:  life, cooking, entertainment, home schooling, etc. So many people fell in love with her that she got an HGTV cooking show and several book contracts.  Anywho, here's the link to the burgundy mushrooms.  If you ever think about making these, don't be intimidated by the cook time.  They are so super easy and you really don't have to do anything to them once you get them on the just have to be there!  And honestly, I think you could easily throw these in the crockpot over night or during the day while you are at work.  

Speaking of Pioneer Woman recipes, I also recently made this turkey tettrazini.  I had asked Ryan to smoke a giant turkey for Thanksgiving so we could freeze it and I could use it in dishes when I needed it.  I had already made turkey pot pie and "fancy" mac and cheese (seriously it is kind of fancy...I mean it's got feta cheese and kalamata olives among other ingredients) with it and wanted to try something new...and trusty old Ree ("Pioneer Woman") didn't let me down.  If you ever have leftover turkey or chicken make this recipe.  You can thank me later. 

One food related activity I didn't do well was cookie decorating.  Ryan would like me to present Exhibit A to prove that he is a better cookie decorator than I am:
Guess which one I did.  Whatever.  It still tasted just as good as any other cookie.  So what if the snowman didn't have eyes, a mouth, or a nose.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas (continued)

On Christmas morning we all woke up and stayed in our Christmas pj's to open gifts and eat cinnamon rolls.  Ryan and I try to keep the gift exchange pretty low key between us and want to keep it that way going forward so Copeland can learn that Christmas is not just about presents and that while it is nice to receive it is also very rewarding to give.  Hopefully when he is a little older and understands what is going on we can involve him in philanthropy.  So, Copeland got four gifts from us: something he wants (glow sea horse), something he needs (teething toy), something to wear (pj's), and something to read (Christmas book). And Santa brought him an exersaucer, which he's not quite old enough for yet but he still seems to like it a lot.  

We spent the rest of the day as a family at home and enjoyed a delicious dinner that night.  What a wonderful first Christmas with our sweet son.

I was so lucky to have the rest of the week off and we finished it off by meeting Jodi for lunch, Brian and Judy for dinner, spending lots of quality family time together, and taking Copeland in for a test day at day care.  He did wonderfully and Ryan and I were able to see Anchorman 2, have a late lunch at PF Changs, and go shopping.  It was a nice date day with my beloved.  All too soon my time off came to an end.  It's crazy how quickly a few days can fly by.  I was lucky, though, because my boys came downtown for lunch with me on my Monday back to work.
And then lucky me I had part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday off for the New Year!  We joined some friends on NYE for a few hours - we are not quite as good at staying up late as we used to be!  Then Ryan started back to work the day after New Year's and Copeland went in for his first two real days of day care.  The day care ladies say he is super cheerful and content while he is there, he likes to check out the other babies, and he eats really well too.  

It seems like the transition is going really well for all of us so I'm very thankful for that.  I'm also thankful for the WEEKEND when we get more time with our little guy!  I just wanted to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze him all this weekend.  I did plenty of that, in addition to enjoying dinner with some of our old neighbors and also meeting Dion and Amy for breakfast.

Phew...and there.  I'm caught up on all the happenings in our household since Christmas!  Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas with Copeland

We started Christmas week off by taking Copeland to the Denver Zoo Lights on the Saturday before Christmas.  Over 38 acres of the zoo are decorated in twinkling lights, ornaments, and lit animal sculptures.  Ryan and I had never been before and we loved it!  Whoever decorated was very creative and around every corner there was a different theme and something new to catch our attention.  It seemed like such a magical night because it was our first time at the zoo lights and we were with our little boy for his first Christmas, it was snowing, and everyone there seemed filled with Christmas cheer, especially the young kids and the older couples - Ryan saw an elderly couple strolling arm in arm and said "That's going to be us"...awwwwwww.  Someone was so nice they gave us a free ticket to get in.
I had to work on Monday but the office closed at noon on Christmas Eve (Tuesday) so I got to spend extra time with my boys that day.  Ryan and I made sugar cookies for Santa but Ryan said he thought Mrs. Claus was probably fond of sugar cookies but Santa might enjoy my chocolate chip cookies I made chocolate chip cookies too.  
Then later that night we took Copeland to one of our church's candlelight services.  As always, I loved the Christmas Eve service.  I love celebrating the story of Christ through song and it's very important to me to remember the reason for Christmas.  Church was always a part of my holiday experience growing up and I want to make sure it is for Copeland as well.
For dinner that night I made oyster stew again just like last year; however, I tried out a new recipe and it was DELICIOUS!  I may have overdone it on milk products though because we each ate the milk laden oyster stew and then enjoyed our dessert of cookies with milk.  Oh and did I mention we had enjoyed eggnog with spiced whiskey earlier as well?  I think next year I will find a side, drink, and dessert that do not contain any milk.
We got to finish the night off by face-timing with my family and Skyping with Ryan's family.  What a perfect start to the Christmas week.  

P.S.  Here is the link to the oyster stew recipe I used.  The only changes I made were I added diced steamed potatoes and used 2 cans of oysters (with juice) instead of only 16 fresh ones.  YUM!