Archive for November, 2010


Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I am not sure why we have to have turkey on Thanksgiving. As Lars puts it “if turkey is so great, why do we only have it one day a year?”. True story, husband o’ mine. Don’t get me wrong–turkey is just fine–its just a lot of bird. Especially when, let’s be honest, all you really want are the sides. The stuffing (which can be made sans bird), the mashed potatoes, the cranberry sauce, etc etc and so forth. I’m just baffled by turkey.

We’re having two thanksgivings this year–one with Lars’ dad on Thursday and one with Lars’ mom on Saturday. Double double toil and trouble (and exercise…but that didn’t rhyme so I put it in parentheses. See what I did there?). I’ve been relegated to salad detail for Thursday and am making mashed potatoes, green bean salad, cranberries and whatnot on Saturday. Whatnot is my x-factor. Not sure what that will be. Perhaps it will be humble pie as Saturday is also the day Michigan is playing Ohio State and all signs are pointing to a smack-down of the not good kind for the Michigan faithful.

Oh, I’m sorry—did you want me to mention Bjorn in this blog at some point. I’ll acquiesce but only because he is adorable. Have you seen how big his eyes are. Just like Puss N’ Boots from Shrek. He is irrisitable. That’s right. I just compared my son to a digitally animated cat. Sue me. That’s the type of parent I am….stream of consciousness on the fly comparisons that will inevitably lead to making him a better man if only to get further away from me because he is too embarrassed to be around me. Too bad the only other big name college in Michigan is Michigan State and that’s in East Lansing. HAHA. Sucker–if you want to achieve you have to stay in Ann Arbor and go to UM and be close to your mom and dad because lord knows what out of state tuition will be when its time for you to go to college. My diabolical plan of resentment and anger is working already….

I regress.

Bjorn says “ball” “da” “mamamamama” “baaa” (as in sheep sound) and “zzzish” as in fish. Also he is very much into saying “hi” and “bye”. He often has a delayed reaction and will tell you hi and bye fifteen second too late…

Case in point at Trader Joe’s this morning:
Check-Out Lane Cashier (COLC): Watch your fingers little man. Time to take the groceries out to the car. Can you say bye bye? Bye-bye? Bye-Bye.
Bjorn: [Blank stares.  Maybe frowning a little.  Kind of annoyed.]
COLC: Oh well. Maybe another time. [DEJECTED!  SO SO SO SAD.  WILL HE LIVE ANOTHER DAY?]
Bjorn..15 seconds later after we’ve walked out of the grocery store: Bye! Bye bye bye! Buh buh buh bye!

Way to start breaking their hearts early, kid.

…and in case you’re wondering. I didn’t buy turkey!

Trying Out a New Recipe–Pros and Cons

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

In our household, we have an odd assortment of dinner staples that are easy to go to when we’re both busy, stressed, tired and would just rather not invest energy into an elaborate meal.  However, lately has seemed like a constant state of being.   Sometimes after a long day at work, I’ll look up at the clock and not realize how it got to be almost 8pm at night and there’s still so much to do!  We love our standard fare for dinner–it includes delicious homemade tortilla soup, bbq chicken pizza, spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, pesto, etc etc and so forth.  Sometimes, though, you just feel like you need to shake things up.  Like your relationship with food is stagnant and its time to branch out.  Lars may disagree with me on this because he’s pretty content with those items listed above–but I love seasonal cooking and I used to love trying new things–so this weekend I decided to shake things up a bit and go at it with a new recipe.

I looked through multiple recipe sources and finally settled on a magazine I had picked up almost a year ago from America’s Test Kitchen.  The recipe was entitled, aptly enough, Butternut Squash with Prosciutto and Spinach.  Its essentially a combination of all three of those with bow-tie pasta (and I melt a little parmesan over the top).  It was easy enough but the effort to put it together already has me spent!  Its always so thrilling to find a new recipe that you love–but then to invest in a new recipe your time (precious free time) and find that its only mediocre.  Well, its enough to deter me from wanting to try a new recipe anytime soon.

Maybe Bjorn will like it.  We’re all screwed up due to daylight savings and the last time he ate was at 3pm and now he’s asleep on the couch.  In his jeans.  My greatest fear is that now he will wake up at 2am and be ready to go AND hungry.  What to do, what to do….?

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” or “How My Toddler Learned to Throw a Temper Tantrum”

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

We’ve been mildly obsessed with the fantastic Mo Willems and his selection of books lately.  You may be familiar with Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, Gerald the Elephant or Piggy…and trust me, we know all them.  Many times over.  We become reacquainted with them approximately one million times every day.

At first we thought it was endearing.  Bjorn would get so excited at the mere mention of the pigeon.  We’d jokingly say “hey Bjorn, don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!”…and he would squeal and run into the living room to try and find one of the many many books.   Might I also mention that he absolutely and without a doubt prefers Lars to read to him.  He will rip the book out of my hand mid-sentence (burn!) and give it to Lars in a blatant display of favoritism.   However, jokes on Lars, because once you start reading, he never wants you to stop.

You know the phrase, “Dance little man, dance!”.  Well…just apply that to reading and that is Bjorn.  Holding the metaphorical gun to your head and making you read until you can’t take it anymore.  Here’s what happens when you stop.

Screaming.  Tears.  Rolling around on the ground like a slow moving log down a hill.  More screams.  Running around aimlessly while screaming.  You’d think we murdered that damn bird.

So–we’re not so endeared to the pigeon anymore (although I think we will be after giving him a little break) and started to read books that are all about words and vocabulary (ie–look at the book that explains all the colors!).   Nothing plot based–that’s too much excitement for one little boy.

Temper tantrums aside, I highly recommend these books–they’re hilarious for parents as well as kids.  So much fun and makes me excited for when Bjorn actually understands what the hee haw we’re saying!

Trick or Treat or Oh Its Well Into November?

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Just finished taking Nonni to the airport today to send her back home to San Diego.  We had a great visit with Nonni and Nonno after they braved driving across the country last week (including the dreaded state of Nebraska!) and found themselves in Ann Arbor the day before Halloween.  Trick or treat, indeed.  The catalyst for the trip was an exciting one for Lars and I–because you can’t drive across the country without a car and they happened to be driving our “new” 4-Runner out to us.  Lars was able to get a good deal on the Lars-mobile (aka Mazda Protege) and we, in turn, were able to make a good deal on the beloved 4-Runner and “keep it in the family” so to speak.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  So much room.  So high up.  So fun!  Lars said to me today that it was such a fun car to have because the pragmatist in him would never buy one new–so we have a well-loved and VERY well-taken care of (thanks, Nonno!) used one that we will try and treat as wonderful as its last owners.  Yes, Dad–this means regular oil changes and car washes even in the dead of winter to get rid of the salt….

Beta Halloween Costume-The Cutest Skeleton

Beta Halloween Costume-The Cutest Skeleton

FLASHBACK--Halloween 2009!  Skeleton AND Tiger

FLASHBACK--Halloween 2009! Skeleton AND Tiger

Nonno stayed until Tuesday and Nonni just left today so they got to have some quality “Bjorn” time.  And by quality Bjorn time, I mean they got to walk to the park a lot.  That kid knows his way around the neighborhood.  You set him down in the backyard and he doesn’t mess around.  Fast down the driveway, to the left and straight on ’til morning (or at least until he reaches Virginia Park around the corner).

Bjorn and his beloved Virginia Park

Bjorn and his beloved Virginia Park

It was so great to have them here for Halloween.  We also had Lars’ mom and Great Aunt June and Grandma Margaret stop by to check out Bjorn in his (ferocious) tiger costume!  He rocked it.  Yes he did.  We took him out “trick or treating” to see all the neighbors we’ve been becoming acquainted with over the past few months.  Of course, we had to stop by our direct neighbors who were terrified of him (who wouldn’t be?) and took some photos of him on their stoop next to their big jack-o-lanterns.  Then the little tiger decided to give up on trick or treating all together and go to the park (see above paragraph)–but was persuaded to go to a few more houses.  There’s a cute young couple two houses down from us who closed on their house about three weeks after Lars and I.  One of them happens to be a first grade teacher at the school where Bjorn will eventually attend.  She looked a little wary at all the kids marching around the neighborhood on a Sunday night asking for candy….but she and her husband think Bjorn is the cutest (because he is) and let him wander around their front porch and explore for a little while.  Bjorn the cuddler put the moves on teacher and let her cuddle him for awhile, too.  Well played, Bjorn.  Well played.

Le Tigre

Le Tigre

We have been having a nice, albeit busy, Fall.  Classes are taking up a lot of my time, personally–but I am loving taking them.  I have been doing well, thus far–and I really enjoy the material.  Sometimes I wish I was this serious business about undergraduate education as I am now in my public health classes–however, you do things for different reasons at different stages in your life so I won’t beat myself up too badly.

We are looking forward to the holiday season with Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor and our annual trip to San Diego over Christmas.  Watch out San Diego friends!  We are in town December 19-31st and can’t wait to see everyone.

So Much To Be Excited For.

So Much To Be Excited For.

A couple more photos from the past couple of days, weeks, months (yeah, I’ve given up on asking Lars to update the “Bjorn-Page”, too, friends)–they can be found here.