Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Parker tried out a few costumes for his first Halloween...

Superman was a no go, he appears to be a reluctant super hero.

He liked the cuddly teddy bear outfit...he's holding paws with the bear!

He is the cutest teddy bear I've ever seen!

Two Teeth!

You can see both of his teeth in this picture.
If you thought Parker's smile was cute before, wait until you see it now!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My First Toof!


Parker's first tooth appeared on Friday October 22nd. This is the first and only picture I could get of the tooth. His second tooth broke through sometime around 2:20 AM Wednesday morning.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday!

In honor of Brian's 31st birthday here are 31 reasons why I love my husband!

Brian I love you because…

1. You are an amazing father and loving husband
2. You are hard working
3. You are handy
4. You like holding hands in public
5. You are supportive, thoughtful and caring
6. I love it when you wrap your arms around me
7. You were a selfless and dedicated birthing coach
8. You attended 12 weeks of birthing classes with me, even though you could not stand the “whack-a-do” couple
9. You look sexy in camo
10. You have never played hooky from work
11. You make the most amazing omelets
12. You call me on my BS
13. You laugh at all my “quirks”
14. You kill giant man-eating spiders for me
15. You always let me warm my cold feet on your lava feet
16. No matter how many times I put my cold hands up your shirt, you never retaliate
17. You get so excited when you spot the first sample table at Costco
18. You eat something I can’t have and tell me it tasted awful even though it was delicious
19. Every so often you ask if I got a haircut, just in case I actually did
20. You help my parents whenever they ask
21. You are freakishly strong
22. Your pinky is bigger than my index finger
23. Your giant gorilla mitts are always warm
24. You always call to ask if you need to pick anything up on your way home
25. You keep asking how old Parker has to be before you can take him hunting
26. You checked “the money is no object” box and authorized doggie life support when Ike got sick
27. You request soap and shampoo that smells manlier…like dirt or motor oil
28. You always make a joke and bring me back to reality, when I blow things out of proportion
29. You can sleep through anything, but during the first few weeks would instantly
wake up whenever Parker made the tiniest noise
30. Your face always lights up when you see Parker and...
31. I love how excited Parker is to see you too!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Adventures of Ike and Turner

From what we have pieced together the Brothers Dim escaped from our backyard around 3 PM, frolicked in a neighbor's yard, trotted across a large field, waded through a creek down to a small inlet and chased each other along the beach until they stopped to play with a friendly chocolate lab. The owner of the lab checked Ike's collar (at some point along the way Turner's collar disappeared) and gave us a call around 5 PM.

The red A is where they ended up -- if you know us well enough you know our street and where they started from. What boggles my mind is Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb have no fear of cars, and by following the creek and shoreline they completely by-passed two busy roads.


View Larger Map

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh Boy, Here We Go!

I think Parker will be crawling by Christmas!

(Please try to ignore my horrible French accent)
video

Is the next generation too dependent on technology?

The answer is yes!

I read this article a few weeks ago, and as teacher and new mom, it really stuck with me.

Are we raising a generation of nincompoops

By Beth J. Harpaz, Associated Press Writer September 27, 2010

NEW YORK --Second-graders who can't tie shoes or zip jackets. Four-year-olds in Pull-Ups diapers. Five-year-olds in strollers. Teens and preteens befuddled by can openers and ice-cube trays. College kids who've never done laundry, taken a bus alone or addressed an envelope.
Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? And do we have only ourselves to blame? Or are some of these things simply the result of kids growing up with push-button technology in an era when mechanical devices are gradually being replaced by electronics?
Susan Maushart, a mother of three, says her teenage daughter "literally does not know how to use a can opener. Most cans come with pull-tops these days. I see her reaching for a can that requires a can opener, and her shoulders slump and she goes for something else."
Teenagers are so accustomed to either throwing their clothes on the floor or hanging them on hooks that Maushart says her "kids actually struggle with the mechanics of a clothes hanger."
Many kids never learn to do ordinary household tasks. They have no chores. Take-out and drive-through meals have replaced home cooking. And busy families who can afford it often outsource house-cleaning and lawn care.
"It's so all laid out for them," said Maushart, author of the forthcoming book "The Winter of Our Disconnect," about her efforts to wean her family from its dependence on technology. "Having so much comfort and ease is what has led to this situation -- the Velcro sneakers, the Pull-Ups generation. You can pee in your pants and we'll take care of it for you!"
The issue hit home for me when a visiting 12-year-old took an ice-cube tray out of my freezer, then stared at it helplessly. Raised in a world where refrigerators have push-button ice-makers, he'd never had to get cubes out of a tray -- in the same way that kids growing up with pull-tab cans don't understand can openers.
But his passivity was what bothered me most. Come on, kid! If your life depended on it, couldn't you wrestle that ice-cube tray to the ground? It's not that complicated!
Mark Bauerlein, author of the best-selling book "The Dumbest Generation," which contends that cyberculture is turning young people into know-nothings, says "the absence of technology" confuses kids faced with simple mechanical tasks.
But Bauerlein says there's a second factor: "a loss of independence and a loss of initiative." He says that growing up with cell phones and Google means kids don't have to figure things out or solve problems any more. They can look up what they need online or call mom or dad for step-by-step instructions. And today's helicopter parents are more than happy to oblige, whether their kids are 12 or 22.
"It's the dependence factor, the unimaginability of life without the new technology, that is making kids less entrepreneurial, less initiative-oriented, less independent," Bauerlein said.
Teachers in kindergarten have always had to show patience with children learning to tie shoes and zip jackets, but thanks to Velcro closures, today's kids often don't develop those skills until they are older. Sure, harried parents are grateful for Velcro when they're trying to get a kid dressed and out the door, and children learn to tie shoes eventually unless they have a real disability. But if they're capable of learning to tie their shoes before they learn to read, shouldn't we encourage them?
Some skills, of course, are no longer useful. Kids don't need to know how to add Roman numerals, write cursive or look things up in a paper-bound thesaurus. But is snail-mail already so outmoded that teenagers don't need to know how to address an envelope or put the stamp in the right spot? Ask a 15-year-old to prepare an envelope some time; you might be shocked at the result.
Lenore Skenazy, who writes a popular blog called Free-Range Kids, based on her book by the same name, has a different take. Skenazy, whose approach to parenting is decidedly anti-helicopter, agrees that we are partly to blame for our children's apparent incompetence, starting when they are infants.
"There is an onslaught of stuff being sold to us from the second they come out of the womb trying to convince us that they are nincompoops," she said. "They need to go to Gymboree or they will never hum and clap! To teach them how to walk, you're supposed to turn your child into a marionette by strapping this thing on them that holds them up because it helps them balance more naturally than 30,000 years of evolution!"
Despite all this, Skenazy thinks today's kids are way smarter than we give them credit for: "They know how to change a photo caption on a digital photo and send it to a friend. They can add the smiley face without the colon and parentheses! They never took typing but they can type faster than I can!"
Had I not been there to help that 12-year-old with the ice-cube tray, she added, the kid surely would have "whipped out his iPhone and clicked on his ice cube app to get a little video animated by a 6-year-old that explained how you get ice cubes out of a tray."
Friends playing devil's advocate say I'm wrong to indict a whole generation for the decline of skills they don't need. After all, we no longer have to grow crops, shoot deer, prime a pump or milk a cow to make dinner, but it was just a couple of generations ago that you couldn't survive in many places without that knowledge.
Others say this is simply the last gasp of the analog era as we move once and for all to the digital age. In 10 years, there won't be any ice cube trays; every fridge will have push-button ice.
But Bauerlein, a professor at Emory University who has studied culture and American life, defends my right to rail against the ignorance of youth.
"That's our job as we get old," he said. "A healthy society is healthy only if it has some degree of tension between older and younger generations. It's up to us old folks to remind teenagers: 'The world didn't begin on your 13th birthday!' And it's good for kids to resent that and to argue back. We want to criticize and provoke them. It's not healthy for the older generation to say, 'Kids are kids, they'll grow up.'
"They won't grow up," he added, "unless you do your job by knocking down their hubris."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quiche

If you are like me you always have a few eggs in the fridge and if you are also like me you often find yourself staring into the fridge at 5 PM trying to find something to make for dinner. Here is your answer!

9 inch unbaked pie shell (homemade or frozen) **I usually just skip the crust
A handful or two of grated cheese (any kind)
10-12 eggs
A splash of milk (roughly the same amount you use when making scrambled eggs)
Add any amount of any of the following: green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc.
1-2 handfuls of any of the following: bacon, sausage, ham, etc. (cooked)
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk eggs and milk together. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into 9 inch round pie shell OR if you are skipping the pie crust simply spray a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes, test by sticking a knife into the center-quiche is done when knife comes out clean. Quiche will puff up in oven, let sit on counter for 5-10 minutes to deflate.

Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe yields 7-8 dozen cookies. I usually roll all the dough into balls, bake some and freeze the rest. If you have a Kitchenaid mixer use it, this dough can be tough to mix together without a little mechanical help.

Cream together:
2 cups margarine or butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
Add:
4 eggs
1 T. vanilla

Mix in:
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
5-6 cups flour
3 cups oatmeal
Stir in:
16 oz. chocolate chips

Roll into golf ball size place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 6-8 minutes.

Hashbrown Casserole (H.B.C.)

This is a crowd pleaser! This can also be prepared the night before and simply popped in the oven while you are getting ready in the morning.

1 lb. package of frozen shredded hashbrowns
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 bunch of green onions
handful of bacon bits
Fresh ground pepper

In a large bowl, mix together hashbrowns (easier to mix when potatoes are slightly thawed), cheese, sour cream, and onions. Spread evenly in a 9x13 greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with pepper and bacon bits. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the top is brown.

Frozen Chocolate Pudding Parfaits

Due to Parker’s dairy allergy I tried to make chocolate pudding with coconut milk, but for some reason it would not set. Brian suggested freezing it and the result was creamy slushy chocolaty goodness! Basically a Jell-O pudding pop in a bowl!

One package instant chocolate pudding mix
Coconut milk, rice milk or for you lucky bastards - milk (amount indicated on pudding package)
Whisk together milk and pudding powder. Pour into individual ramekins or small microwave safe bowls and popped them in the freezer for 2-3 hours. The pudding will be rock hard. Microwave for 20-30 seconds (depending on the power of your microwave)