Monday, May 31, 2010

Chocolate and Herbs

My lovely mother in-law gave me this luscious set of hot chocolates for Christmas. They were decadent, rich, oh so dark, and gone in a flash. I only shared with one person, one time: Little Sis. Because I like her so much. No one else could get near them. You know... because of all the booby traps.

I mean, this is a set of real dark chocolate shavings that you add to steamed milk. Would you share? Yeah, I didn't think so. The flavors were: Dark Chocolate. (And it was. It reeeeealy was. In fact, Little Sis had to add sugar to hers. Blasphemer!) Mocha. (Oh, heaven help me!) Aztec. (It made me think I was drinking Vianne's hot chocolate in the movie Chocolat.) and Spicy.

So when I finished the last precious sip, I knew I couldn't just throw the tins away. They are very cute, and they evoke such marvelous flavor memories!

So today, I made myself an herb garden. I now have basil, rosemary, mint, and parsley. This stuff, I'll share. It's remarkable how fragrant these tiny plants are.

When my man came in and saw what I had done (and how giddy I was about it), he said in his best church lady voice, "Oh, how precious! Goodness sakes!"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Art Class

The punk comes from a line of artists. His dad once wore the title graphic designer; his Grandma Lynn is a wonderful photographer; his Great Uncle Nate gave us a beautiful bronze sculpture of a seedling for our wedding; his Great Grandpa Johansen painted the piece sitting behind him in our dining room.

So naturally, he enjoys these paints his Grandma Caryn gave to him.

Maybe too much?

Now I remember why we usually use crayons.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Health Regimen

I have occasionally and repeatedly found myself in a rut during the last few months. I shall not bore you with the details here, but I will tell you what I've decided to do about it. I have resolved to be better at three specific things:

studying my scriptures
(scriptures not pictured)

eating healthier
(specifically, not indulging in a treat after the punk goes to bed)

and exercising
(I now have a running buddy who encourages me to do more than I would on my own; we do 4 miles, 3 times a week. I then do a long run on Saturdays to prepare for Ragnar. Here, the punk and I are doing Ab Ripper X.)

I have started to become more in tune with my body and its needs, physically and mentally. I can tell when I haven't run in a while because I become irritable and grumpy. I run more for my mental health and the happiness of my family than to lose the last few baby pounds.

But just because I've made these decisions regarding my health and happiness doesn't mean they are easy or that I am magically consistent. I go through hot chocolate withdrawals every single night. Sometimes I feel like a recovering addict. Really. And I don't want to feel like that anymore. I just want to be me. Fit, healthy, happy, able to indulge occasionally, but not dependent on substances that aren't good for me.

So here's to health and happiness and the struggle it takes to get there!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Early Dose of Testosterone

The punk and I just returned home from an afternoon of pure bliss. This is the reason to be a stay at home mom. We were out running errands in Sugar House, so at lunchtime, we picked up some chicken nuggets and mandarin oranges, and a healthy salad for me (with a side of fries), and went to Sugar House Park to watch the ducks and geese. We relaxed on our blanket and ate until our tummies were satisfied.

Then, we posed by a tree for GQ Magazine.

And found lots of cool rocks and roots in the dirt.

Then we found some new friends. We had seen them at the pond with their own Wendy's bag, and then they ended up on the playground with us. When the punk saw the younger brother, who is his same age, he walked up and gave him a hug. They were instant buddies. While the younger two were climbing and gallivanting, I was talking to the boys' mom while she watched her older boy (about 4 years old) on the slide. We were soon joined by another boy about his same age.

This handsome little redhead initially seemed harmless enough, but soon he took control of the slide and began to assert his rights as slide dictator. When he called my new 4 year-old friend a "stinky head," the poor boy screwed up his face and started to cry. "Mom, he called me a stinky head," he said, his voice cracking. I looked in vain for this little terror's mom. Finally, as he was spitting at me through a long plastic tube, his nanny came up and told him that wasn't nice. He apologized to me and started playing nicely with the other kids.

While he was showing his new playmate how to walk up the slide with bare feet, I figured he had found his manners. Just then, he yelled, "Hey, do you think I have a big penis?"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There Was a Little House in the Middle of the Woods

Please enjoy this musical selection, a feast for the eyes AND the ears.

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Punk and AG in St. George, April 2010

The punk had the privilege this week of securing a play date with his friends AG and DL. We spent some time playing outside on the grass and in the girlies' playhouse and new swing set. The most coveted toys were two long sticks that the kids found on the grass. Three year old DL stood her stick vertically in the grass and sang into it like a microphone stand. The punk used his to hit dirt.

When we were enjoying lunch, I was regaling Brittany (the girlies' mama) with a list of the punk's new words. I proudly stated that he can now say "thank you," "water," and "wet." Impressive, no? Just then, AG pointed to a puzzle shape on the table and said, "OCTAGON!"

Wa. Wa. Wah.

The punk would do well to spend more time with these geniuses. But I will have to warn him not to believe everything they say. It was actually a pentagon.

Monday, May 17, 2010


The punk is adding new words to his vocabulary every day now. Among other things, he can now say "cereal," "truck," and "snack." One of the most recent additions to his repertoire is "poop." After he suddenly stops whatever he's doing and stands, red-faced, in the middle of the room, grunting and concentrating, he will involuntarily shiver and then look up with wide, blue eyes and helpfully exclaim, "Poop!"

The other day, he was in the other room wrestling with his dad. I heard the play stop and then my man whisper to him, "Go tell mama." A second later, the punk appeared at my bedroom door. He pointed to his bum and said, "Poop!" I yelled into the other room, "Nice try!" and heard a hearty burst of guilty laughter.

He also knows another word that rhymes with poop:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On the Theories of Freud

The punk and I joined our friend Susan on a walk this morning on the hilly streets of our neighborhood. As I huffed and puffed up the steep mountain terrain, my fit friend offered to push the stroller. (My heavy breathing ploy worked! I can totally handle those hills. Yeah. Mmm-hmmm.) The punk was curious as to why his mama was walking at his side instead of behind him; that has never happened before! So when he reached out his hand to hold mine, I melted right there on the spot. I nominate Susan to always be there to push the stroller so my baby and I can hold hands on our walks.

This sweet act began a conversation between Susan and me about the mother/son relationship. I said that I am a fortunate mother of a sweet, cuddly boy. He will lay his head on my shoulder, snuggle, hug, and kiss (which usually involves a wide open mouth and gobs of slobber on my cheek). In my limited experience, it seems that boys are cuddlier than girls, and more so with their mamas than their papas. Is this true? Of course, we moms (well, most of us) have something the dads don't. Boobs. And boobs are fun to cuddle up to, right boys? I guess we mamas can't help but expose our little men from the moment they are born to the mystery of the female figure. Freud was right; it's all our fault.

After our walk, the punk and I went on a lunch date to Cafe Rio. We waited in line behind a couple to whom I hadn't been paying attention until she started touching his bum. Actually, she was trying to flatten his back pockets, which were sticking straight out. Annoyed, he stepped back. This is when I looked up at their faces and realized they were mother and son. He said, "Stop being such a mom!" And she unapologetically said, "It's my job."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Liquid Gold with Eggs and Toast

Tonight, the three of us ate dinner separately. My man had called to let me know that he had eaten a large, late lunch and not to worry about making the gourmet, five course meal I usually make for him. That was fine with me since I had also had a large lunch and wasn't remotely hungry as dinnertime approached. So I whipped up an unorthodox but delicious meal for the punk (spaghetti noodles with turkey and parmesan, and edamame on the side) and the man and I postponed our dinners.

Now here is where the difference between my man and me is so evident. At about 7:30, he poured himself a bowl of rice chex and rounded out the meal with a peanut butter sandwich (no jam, no honey; just peanut butter on a slice of white bread). Done.

Although I was hungry at 7:00, I waited. I waited because I knew that the enjoyment of my meal would increase oh so much if only I didn't have a little person pulling on my pant leg, begging for a bite. I waited until 8:15 when the punk was in his crib, snuggled up in his yellow lamb blanket with a binky in his soft, pink, baby mouth. Then, I opened the fridge and found that we were out of milk. This just won't do. I had my heart set on the ultimate quick comfort food: hot chocolate with soft eggs and buttered whole wheat toast. Did you notice that the hot chocolate comes first? It's not just an afterthought like many beverages tend to be. Hot chocolate makes this meal. One can't just settle for eggs and toast. That would be wrong. So, off to the grocery store I went.

As I entered, I could have marched straight to the back of the store where I could see the milk waiting for me. That would be too easy. Too like the man waiting for me at home. No, instead I tortured myself by strolling by the bakery, at the opposite end of the store, to drool at the chocolate eclairs and cheesecake brownies. As I made my way back to the dairy section, I passed peanut M&Ms, chocolate pudding, peanut butter cups... I reminded myself that I wasn't actually going to purchase any of these treats. I was there only for milk, and the chocolate torture game was just a bonus. I grabbed the milk and made my way to the registers... but blocking my way was a display of Lehi Roller Mills brownie mixes. Gah! How am I to withstand such temptation? I'm telling you right now, if the man were not at home to see what a glutton I can be, I would have picked up a box in a split second, made the brownies, and eaten the entire pan. Lucky I don't live alone, eh?
So I made it out of the store with only the milk I had gone there seeking. Then I proceeded to make my perfect hot chocolate (which would have been more perfect if I had Ghirardelli cocoa, but my grocery store doesn't sell it), and with it, eggs and toast. Then I sat down to enjoy my delicious meal with a semi-entertaining, if not scholarly, book. I dip my toast in the liquid gold, I smear soft egg on another bite, and I am in food heaven.

All this is to say that my pleasurable meal took about an hour to prepare and consume, while my man took about 4 1/2 minutes with his dinner.

With whom do you identify? The efficient, eat-for-sustenance guy? Or the slightly neurotic, chocolate-crazed, eat-for-pleasure chick?
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