Friday, March 26, 2010

Cutest pic ever!

When Lauren started her very first year of preschool she filled out a questionnaire about me for a Mother's Day present.  The "un-scrolling" event was at the Mother's Day party at school.  One of the questions was "what is your mom's favorite drink?"  (HOLDING BREATH...........)  The smart little red-head had the where-with-all to say COFFEE.  LOVE YOU LAUREN!  However, in my book I'm gonna have to vote WINE thank-you-very-much.

Lauren told me last week, "Mom, I know what it means to be drunk you know."  "Oh, you do?  What does it mean?"  "It's when you drink too much beer."  Okay.  Alright.  Well, I don't even really drink beer, nor does you Father.  So.  Okay.

The above picture is RIDIC cute!  It's my BF Kelly and Lauren looking so innocent with that big glass 'o wine.  Hilarious!  Love it!  Wine and waterpark weekend was fab!  Love ya Kel!  : )

How to eat and share a Girl Scout thin Evan

Giraffes and chopsticks...

You gotta love being a kid.  An oversized giraffe made out of legos at LegoLand in Schaumburg made Evan schreeeeeech with delight before we even got up close!  And we weren't even going to LegoLand!  Just on our way to a near-by store.  That's Grandma Terry with the kids.  My beloved Mother and best Grams in the world!  We shopped and then headed to Big Bowl for lunch. 

My mom and I remembered fondly our martinis at the bar and appetizer sampler platters and no worries of the red head or the blondie boy.  But Lauren got to experience chopsticks so it was expanding her horizons, right?  No martinis this time but I guess these two peaches are much more worth it! 

I'm off to Sissy K's house for 10 days.  Wish me luck on the airplane with a 15 month old crazy boy!  : )  Enjoy the upcoming warm weather and we'll talk soon! 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chicago Clouds....


by Christina Rossetti

White sheep, white sheep,

On a blue hill,

When the wind stops

You all stand still

When the wind blows

You walk away slow.

White sheep, white sheep,

Where do you go?

Photo taken by me (circa 2003) while being "entertained" by clients on a boat ride to the city.......oh, the glorious city of Chicago....and oh, that life I used to have before children.  And, wow.  How important I thought it all was!  Career schameeeeer.  "I can always get another job."  Okay, I've said too much.

Tulips...yet another sign of Spring....

A Tulip Garden by Amy Lowell

Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,

Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,

The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry

Wheels out into the sunlight. What bold grace

Sets off their tunics, white with crimson lace!

Here are platoons of gold-frocked cavalry,

With scarlet sabres tossing in the eye

Of purple batteries, every gun in place.

Forward they come, with flaunting colours spread,

With torches burning, stepping out in time

To some quick, unheard march. Our ears are dead,

We cannot catch the tune. In pantomime

Parades that army. With our utmost powers

We hear the wind stream through a bed of flowers.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From the House of Swedes with a you know how many times people ask us if we are Irish?  Well, to make matters even brother-in-law is a red-headed Irishman!!!!  Makes for good jokes among the family!!!  : )  Do you like Gunniess?  Try it, you may be surprised!  Low carbonation and a lovely dark, coffee flavor. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Impromptu Picnic....

It's that time of year again.........the time of year that a mom decides HOW LONG to stay at the park without going crazy!  : )  This was "park day #1" of the season so it lastest for hours! 
                                                   Check out Evan's little toes in this pic peeking out in the corner! 

* * * * * *  H a P p Y  S p R i N g !!!!! * * * * * *

Signs of Spring....

Welcome to Spring in Chicago!  FINALLY.  But wait, seriously, this could be the biggest tease EVER.  It could be snowing next week.  So I will jump up and down inside my head and not in person, so as to NOT distrub the balance of the universe and this lovely weather bestowed upon us!  The park was packed with crazy moms giddy with joy to be out of the house with all the kidlets!  : )

Friday, March 12, 2010

I call it an "electronic baby book"...

One of the reasons I started this blog was to document all the little things that happen with the kids.  Things that are so precious and fleeting that as soon as I realize it I'll be sending the darlings off to school and be sitting here bawling my eyes out....and then I can read all these little bloggy gems and be reminded of the good, the bad and the ugly.  Life on the frontlines of motherhood so to speak.  Because really, who has time for the traditional scrapbooks/baby books?  I have one for each child but after about a year it trickles off.

So to document life on the Evan-front, he is a little ball of boy energy and cuddles.  He cuddles more everyday and snuggles up with a blanket when I say "oh so soft and cuddly....cuddle bug baby boy."  He nuzzles his neck into the blanket he pulls off the back of the rocking chair. 

He wants to do everything himself....this is why mom's purposefully DON'T show them things.  You would have thought I would have learned the first go-round.  I showed him how to take a spoon and dip into his yogurt and feed himself.  Well, well well!  You'd have thought I showed him how to build a rocket ship to Mars.  However, any time Evan eats now it's a battle between me trying to keep the mess to a small radius surrounding the high chair,  or letting him go balls out mess-crazy.  Dear Lord, I can't complain......the kid knows what he wants and that he wants to do it HIM-SELF.  Thank you very much.  WOW.  This is why WINE was invented. 

Any mom will glady tell you that the list of things that PECK-PECK-PECK itself on her arm all day long until the pain becomes dull and somewhat less annoying out of the consistency of the pecking is the "what should I feed the kids?"  question.  HURT ME.  I love cooking and yet this task is so painful some days that I want to run from my home and go hide at McDonald's.  And I detest those golden arches with a passion.  It's one of the reasons our country is obese and diseased.  I loved that show "Honey, we're killing the kids..."  It was gene.  My bag of tricks is light on the inspiration these days.  "What do you have mom?"  OMG.  The same **** I feed you everyday.  Just pick one of the items and let's move on before I kill myself."  "I'm hungry."  "Yes, honey I'm hungry too.  FOR A BABYSITTER." 

Also, stop touching me and stop asking me questions.

WAIT.  Wasn't this supposed to be some love-fest in regard to Evan and his precious little lovelies that I can pull out later and reminisce about? 

Whew.  I love having a blog.  hahahahhahah  vent. vent. vent.  read later. 

So Evan, yes my dear son....he's walking more than ever now.  He just really kicked into high gear today.  He balances and takes off and is like...."huh?  wha?  holy cow! cool!"  As for his verbal skills (mad skillzzzz) he says "HI" and "Georgia" addition to mama, dada, and all those standard 15 month old words, the boy honestly says HI.  The proof in the pudding was last Friday at the library when he crawled over to the new kitchen set, promptly grabbed the fake cell phone, put it to his ear and said HI.  The kid is obviously advanced and I should begin looking for gifted programs.  hahahahhaha  Georgia is the name of our cat and apparently we say GEOR-GIA all day long.  (from my mouth it sounds very my love of animals kinda went out the window when the kids came along......sorry animal lovers, it's reality) 

My husband SWORE up and down last Sunday that he said Georgia, but you know things such as this aren't really "legit" until Mom confirms it all!  Well today Evan was a "GEOR-GIA" sayin' fool!  All these advancements are large in part to his sister Lauren too.  Let's give credit where it is due!  I haven't ever read the kid a book and by this time I had read Lauren a small library!  This is why the first born children are different than the second born children despite parents doing the what they think is the "same".

I always thought I wanted two girls but when little man Evan came along.......well, my little boy just warms my heart.  There is something about mother-son and mother daughter relationships and I am so thrilled to be experiencing both.

Next post.......discussing the latest advancements in the life of the red head.  She's four years old going on 13.  I'm not kidding.  I'm kinda freaking out here.  : )

Friday, March 5, 2010

The life of a boy...

Any friend of mine who had a son told me that things would be different for me after Evan came into the world!  I seriously never even had to child-proof the house when Lauren was little.  She would sit calmly and read books or do something for a long period of time.  Well, Evan CLIMBS on things, over things, gets into every cupboard and drawer, and basically drives me crazy by the end of the day!  He needs to be secured if I leave the room!  (and that above diaper is a baby alive diaper, not his!)
And as for art projects, yeah.....guess we are gonna need to wait on that.  He wanted to eat the markers, draw on the table and rip Lauren's paper....but I had to try!  I had Lauren painting when she was 6 months!  I am a firm believer in creativity beginning early.  I learned that from my Great Aunt Ruth.  I was allowed to use all her art supplies........pastels, oils, water colors, etc. from an early age.  I felt so special and so grown up.  What can you do today that inspires you or your child?

Potsticker Fun for the whole Family...

For the part of me that wants to do everything myself, (because I do it best don't you know?  hahaha) and that part of me that doesn't want to deal with extra messes...........I need to give it up!  Lauren is truly happiest when I let her help, cook, bake, peel, or do anything creative.  She was SO good at making these potstickers!  And she was much happier about trying and eating them because SHE MADE THEM!  This is a simple and delicious meal.  Try it tonight with your family!  Traditional "dumplings" made with hand made dough become a quick meal by using won ton wrappers found in most grocery stores.  The filling is simple ground chicken, pork or turkey.  I added pickled ginger to the filling and the slaw.
And don't forget the slaw!  I made some brown rice and piled the slaw on top and then added the potstickers to that with a sprinkle of green onions and extra Sriracha (garlic-chili hot sauce!  I may become addicted!)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Moving along swimmingly....

So apparently a WEE bit of YELLING DOES WORK! 
Little Miss Red Head went down the dolphin slide AND jumped off the edge today! 
 Rock on Lauren! 
(Please see 3/1/10 post entitled "Like I said" for the full story here!) 
It would appear that both of us are "over the games." 
Yes, my child.  That would be a good thing.
Evan really just likes the hair dryers!
I conquered that dolphin slide! 

As exotic as it gets around here....

 Gettin' crazy at the Anderson house!  Thanks Trader Joe's!

Kumquats ("golden oranges") are often eaten raw. As the rind is sweet and the juicy center is sour and salty, the raw fruit is usually consumed either whole -- to savour the contrast -- or only the rind is eaten. The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage and has just shed the last tint of green.

Kumquats originated in China, appearing in literature dating to the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in Japan, and were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, collector for the London Horticultural Society, and shortly thereafter into North America. 

Despite Lauren's willingness to try new things (depending on the day!) she had to spit it out because it was too sour for her.  I, on the other hand am loving them!  Delicously refreshing as we limp through the final days of winter....can on for spring!  And then we can REALLY start livin' large when the farmer's markets open again.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Get out of your box!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."   ~Mark Twain~

From the heart....or thyroid

While departing from Trader Joe's today I saw a woman get out of her car with this license plate.  I said to her, "I LOVE your license plate!"  She replied, while casually glancing back to look at it, "Oh, thanks, my husband picked it out." 

I think today may have been a day filled with messages.  The one shown above- I mean really, we can ALL be a little KINDER in all aspects of our life.  And the other message came while watching Roger Ebert on Oprah I cried and felt ashamed that I ever take anything for granted.  That I complain.  That I am obsessed with my children........they are the greatest joy and accomplishment, yet I long to go to work some mornings or call the sitter.....or just to have quiet and do nothing.  Roger Ebert had complications with thyroid cancer that led to removal of his salivary glands and lower jaw, thus, he lost he ability to speak or eat.

A few weeks ago I had a biopsy on my thyroid.  Or shall I say, a bunch of needle picks to freeze the area and a few tissue samples where taken from each nodule I have surrounding my thyroid.  For those of you not in the know (and who is?) the thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ in the "adam's apple" region of your neck.  It plays a big role in how your body functions.  It impacts everything from your heart rate, to your energy level and your  metabolism.  The thyroid controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.

Many many years ago my hair started falling out and it led to a simple blood test which told me I had an underactive thyroid.  It is a simple fix really and I just take a pill daily to regulate my levels.  The nodules, (lumps and bumps on my thyroid gland) however, need to be monitored each year with an ultrasound and if the results look different than the previous one, a biopsy to check for sketchy cells....aka.....cancer.

Well, all was well with the biopsy.  I wasn't even worried really until the second the doctor called and my life did a quick flash.  Like a movie that plays out in your mind with alternate endings.  I looked at the kids and my heart started beating and I felt like you are standing at the threshold of life as usual, or life turned upside down. 

And then Roger Ebert brought it all home today.  I had no idea any of those things could happen.  And really, it's not like I have googled the bad outcomes.  I am the sort of person who really looks on the bright side most of the time.  Why worry until you have the facts?

So today I am thankful and glad that sometimes "boring" is good.  I remember my mom telling me, "not everyday can be exciting and when you get older that will be comforting."  I am thankful today for my health and the lessons and stories that others share that impact my life.

How can you be kinder?

A baby shower for Evan....

In my attempt at surviving winter and Lauren having less time in front of the T.V. or computer, she got creative yesterday and I let her make a big mess.  We got a box from my sister Tracy yesterday and she wanted to know why the mail carrier was a woman.  We had a discussion about boys and girls doing any job they choose.  The empty box from the package prompted this whole event.

Lauren wanted to fill the box again and tape it up and pretend she was delivering a package.  She put a costume on and told me, "I dont' have a mail man outfit so I'm just going to use this."  Great.  A black tutu, snow princess sash and pink sequined hat with trailing sash never looked so good on a mail woman!

Then she asked for wrapping paper.  Now, who uses wrapping paper in the world of gift bags?  But, I did have a few scraps leftover from Christmas.  Funny that the kid that remembers everything didn't comment that Santa wrapped all her gifts in this paper!  The wrapping paper lasted about three minutes and then she asked for more.  This is all I have babe!  Make it work.  She kept insisting I had more in my wrapping box and even went to look several times.  Here is where the communication breakdown occurred.....she wanted TISSUE paper and kept saying wrapping paper!  OH!  Alrighty then.

While looking for wrapping paper she came across all the leftover baby gift bags from showers and gifts.  (two kids later........I seem to have a ton of these!)  She then filled up all the bags with various baby and clothing items for gifts.  What I had not realized is that the baby shower was FOR Evan.  This became clear when she went to get a doll and tried to shove it up his shirt.  This explains why using all his boy stuff wasn't good enough because "Evan is having a girl mom."  Okay, it's all becoming clear now Lauren!

She searched cupboards and the fridge for appropriate appetizers and put a gift bag in the oven to represent baking a cake.  She was running around like a mad woman and said "I am working very hard on this shower."  "This is a lot of work mom."  "Evan better like all of this."  (hmmmm, I have said those words I wonder??  Yeah, just about everyday with everything I do for her!!!!!)

I'm not so sure Evan liked the baby shower but he loved crawling through the tissue paper and chaos strewn from one end of the house to the other!

Ah, all for the sake of cooking dinner in peace! (well, kind-of!)  Totally entertaining!