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Monday, December 31, 2007
Now That's a Break!
Wow, I never dreamed my holiday blogging break would last so long. We got home Friday night, but the weekend went by in a blur. Between laundry, settling back in our home routine, and catching up on my blog reading, I'm just getting around to writing my own post.

It seems that most people are writing reflective posts today about 2007. Makes sense, but that's not what I'm doing, at least not in this post.

Callaway Gardens was absolutely wonderful. It was a trip down nostalgia lane for me. Some things were better, some were worse, and some, amazingly, were exactly the same.

Callaway is located in Pine Mountain, GA, about one hour south of Atlanta. I went to third grade through eighth grade there. I absolutely loved living there. I just deleted the rest of this paragraph as I'm realizing it's a post of its own. This one is about this year.

In November 2006, my youngest sister gave birth to her first child, Josie. They were living in the San Francisco area then, so didn't make it to our family Christmas. Well, actually, our family Christmas is usually every other year, so none of us made it there. Between Josie, Sera, and my other new niece, Ava, we had three new grandchildren this year. For the first time there was a grandchild for every sister in my family. There are four of us. This year we had eight grandchildren at Christmas: four boys and four girls.

The time went too fast. I felt like I didn't really get to sit down and talk to anyone. Christmas morning was chaos, fun, but chaos as the paper went flying. My oldest nephew, Brantley, was a huge help to us as he made himself Sera's number one assistant. She rewarded him by calling him T by the end of our visit. It started as B, but became T.

She raked in the gifts, all of which were huge hits. Granddaddy and Grandma Nora gave her a refrigerator magnet game as did Grandma. She also got bath toys and an Aquadoodle from Granddaddy and Grandma Nora. The Aquadoodle is especially popular this week. She also received an Asian Bitty Baby from American Girl, a Sit 'n Spin, Backyardigan plates, the Beijing Olympic stuffed mascots, two sets of Asian pajamas, one set of Nick & Nora Noel pajamas, three Mandarin/English picture books, and more I can't even remember from her Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. Santa brought her Elmo, a ladybug constellation light, a dress-me doll, Asian play food, an easel, and a bathtub bubble maker. After Christmas, daddy found a Little Einstein rocket with all four characters playset that is totally awesome. It's a huge hit.

When we left Callaway, we headed to my sister's house in the Atlanta area. We had one more day with Jessica, Jeremy, and Josie before they headed home to Texas. It wasn't until after 10:30 on my last night that I felt like I had a chance to sit down and visit with a family member. Marcia and I looked at her photos from their trip last month to China. We talked for a couple of hours before heading off to bed.

On Friday morning, we got up to pouring rain. Jim loaded the car and we hit the road. Thirteen hours, and multiple stops later, we were home. Jim drove the entire way, which was really good because I was exhausted from too many late nights with my sisters and too many early mornings with my daughter.

We stayed in five different cottages all next door to each other. Sera loved walking on the paths and through the trees to visit. Here she's making sure doggie is okay.

Granddaddy reading Twas The Night Before Christmas on an iPhone. Isn't that how everyone does it now? Sera had crashed and was sleeping in the guest room.

Marcia helping Ava unwrap her Bitty Baby. All three new nieces got one, and it was a very popular gift for all three girls.



Sera and her assistant, Brantley, getting into this unwrapping thing.

When Sera got her Bitty Baby, she crawled under the table and was done. It was all about the new baby from this point.

It was impossible to get everyone in one shot, but here are the rest of the grandchildren, except Brantley and Sera as they were to my side.

Forgive all the photos. They're all out of focus. It's amazing how kids won't keep still long enough for a picture on Christmas morning, isn't it?

We all posed for family pictures later on Christmas in the lobby of the hotel. We went there for Christmas dinner. Hopefully we'll get a less blurry shot from someone else's camera.

This is it for my camera. Jim also took pictures, but I still need to get them from him.

This was the most amazing Christmas ever for me. I was able to see my family and spend some time (though not enough) with them, but most importantly, I was able to spend it with my loving husband and our amazing daughter. She weathered each transition like a trooper. She handled the drive down and back and all the people and all the chaos like a pro. She hadn't seen them since July, but she warmed up fairly quickly. We did have a few toddler moments with three toddlers in the family, but it was all good. Let me just say that if Sera owned a toy, touched a toy, saw a toy, or even thought about a toy...it was hers. When I made her share, many tears ensued. Life is difficult indeed.

As 2007 wraps up in a few hours, I look forward to 2008. I know it's only going to get better. I know this year was a pretty incredible one. I hope that 2008 is wonderful for you all, too.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Unintended
I apparently decided to take a blogging break and forgot to inform myself. We're in the midst of holiday franticness, as I'm sure are you. We're wrapping up our last week of school. We get out on Friday, and we're leaving Friday evening to go here.

I am so excited about going there. We moved there when I was in the 3rd grade and left when I was in the 8th grade. It's the home of my childhood, and I loved living there. We went for a visit when I was 16. I went on a camping trip there in college. I've also driven through the town numerous times and stopped at the Country Store for a visit or a meal. I've not been back like this before though. We'll be there for several days. I'll get to visit all of my old haunts, if they still exist. And I'll travel down memory lane a bit. Christmas was always so beautiful there, even without any snow. I can't wait.

We're having a huge family Christmas with my dad and step-mother, my three sisters, their husbands, and all eight grandchildren. We do this every other year. We have three new family members this year: Josie, Ava, and, of course, Sera.

We have a good friend who is moving in to our house for the week to take care of Shadow. We'll have the laptop with us, but I don't expect to have time to blog.

I promise lots of pictures when we return.

In the meantime, we wish all of you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007
Home Bound
That midwestern winter storm finally hit here. We knew it was coming late afternoon/early evening yesterday, so I ran out when Sera went down for her nap and wrapped up most of our Christmas shopping. The snow started when I got to my last stop, the grocery store. By the time I headed home, it was really coming down. By this morning, we had 9 inches on the ground.

Even though we're all a little under the weather with runny noses and sore throats, it was still a wonderful weekend. Sera changes so much every day. She loves to laugh. She has a wicked sense of humor. She does not like it when her face and hands are dirty. She asks for a tissue to wipe her nose, her mouth, or her fingers. She even says tissue now. She knows what she wants and she's not afraid to ask, make that demand, it. She points to where she wants Jim or me to sit and tells us to sit down. She's not shy about telling Shadow what to do either. She's great with the thank yous, but we've got to work on the pleases some more. She will obey when you tell her to do or not do, but she doesn't like it. She usually breaks out in a sob or two immediately following her compliance. She gets over it quickly though.

She's discovered my comb and that she can stand behind me and comb my hair. I remember combing my mother's hair when I was young. I usually sat on the back of the couch right behind her. Sera stands behind me on my bed. Weekend mornings always start with the three of us lying in bed playing, watching Sesame Street, and having breakfast. She has a special way of chanting daddy when he brings her pancakes. She loves daddy's pancakes.

She is such a joy in our lives. I feel like we entered Oz on April 2nd. Everything before that was black and white, but now our lives are in color.

This is why the stories I've read this week break my heart. I cannot understand how a family could adopt a 4-week old baby, raise her for 7 years, and then turn her over to the Hong Kong foster system claiming she never attached. The father is a Dutch diplomat who was living in Hong Kong. The child is stuck in limbo. Her family never, in 7 years, arranged for her to have Dutch citizenship. She was born in Korea, but does not know the language. She's currently in foster care in Hong Kong until her legal status and situation are resolved. Rumor has it that the failure to bond was actually on the part of the mother, and the child has been raised my nannies. As tragic as this is, she has a chance now at a better life. That's not the case for the story I just read today; it also involves a Korean child. I know that I don't know the families' side of the story, but it's the child's side I'm more interested in.

Adoption is not easy. It's hard, very hard. The wait is hard. The referral is hard. The fear is very, very hard. The more prepared parents spend their waiting time reading and studying and preparing for the very real possibilities of difficulties. And that study makes us even more scared. Our children do not come to us with a clean slate. They come to us damaged. If we're lucky, the damage is minor, but it exists in all our children. They've all experienced multiple abandonments and neglect. Most orphanages, caregivers, foster parents do the best they can to care for the children, but lack of money, time, and resources come in play.

We've been lucky, so very lucky, so far. But that doesn't stop the fear. The fear now is probably very similar to the fear any parent has for their child. Every fever makes you worry. Every whimper breaks your heart. Any night that she wakes screaming or struggles with sleep makes you worry about a million possibilities.

Adopting parents are so thoroughly vetted, yet the process also requires us to be honest. Honest with ourselves as well as the adoption professionals. Our children deserve the very best we can offer. I'm not talking about money or clothes or even their own room. I'm talking about nurturing and safety and compassion.

That little girl was adopted one month after we adopted Sera. She was 13-months old on Sept 4 when she was shaken so hard that she suffered massive brain damage and died shortly after.

As much as we all lamented the tightening of the rules for adopting from China, we have to accept that it's these stories that encourage them. We promise to love and protect these babies, not abandon or kill them.

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Friday, December 14, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday - Quick & Easy


This recipe isn't going to be formal because I kind of made it up as I went. Well, that's not really accurate. I know what goes into a basic creole sauce. I just didn't look up a specific recipe. I did this, and it was great.

Shrimp Creole

1 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined
2 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 T chopped garlic, approximately 3 cloves
2 T flour
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes
cajun seasonings, to taste
salt, to taste

Add olive oil, onion, and green pepper to heated skillet. Make sure it's a deep one! Saute until onions are translucent, and add garlic. Stir quickly for a minute to cook garlic, but don't let it burn. Garlic burns easily. Add flour, and stir for a few minutes. You need to do this to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth to incorporate it into the cooked veggies and roux. Add the plum tomatoes, including juice. You can either cut up the tomatoes or break them up in the pan. I squeeze them with my hands and then finish breaking them up in the pan. It's messy, but oh so satisfying. Bring just to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer. Add seasonings. I used Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic. You may find it needs a little salt, too. I like to use sea salt or kosher salt.

While the sauce is simmering, peel and devein the shrimp. This gives the sauce some time to simmer away. Stir in the shrimp, cook for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp. They get rubbery. They're finished as soon as they turn from gray to pink. Serve over rice.

From start to finish, this takes about 30-35 minutes.

Go visit Overwhelmed with Joy for more fantastic recipes!

Past FIF recipes:
Lazy Man's Lasagna & Apple Cake
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Jim's Favorite Jelly Cookie
Eye of Round Roast
Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich
Marcia's Taco Soup
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Cajun Baked Catfish
Jim's Snickers Pancake
Crawfish Monica
Grilled Meats and Vegetables over Saffron Orzo
Crockpot Red Beans
Better Than Almost Anything Cake
Fruity Sangria
Outrageous Brownies
Enchiladas de Pollo
Lescó
Catalina Chicken
Croissant French Toast
Corned Beef
Sloppy Joe, Mac 'n Cheese Casserole
Shredded Chicken
Baked Bean & Burger Casserole
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Crab Rangoon
Sausage con Queso and Ro-tel Cheese Dip
Blueberry Multigrain Coffeecake
Banana Bread
Bananas Foster
Old-Time Beef Stew
White Chocolate Snack Mix
Gorilla Bread
Ginger Shrimp
Roast Chicken
Tex-Mex Chicken Taco Soup
Shrimp Mold
Pasta Puttanesca
Pork Milanese
Pumpkin Dip
Oven-fried Chicken
Best Bundt Cake Ever
Hot Dog Casserole
Chicken & Rice
Peanut Butter Fudge
Omelets in a Bag
Shrimp Boil
Apple Cheese
Pulled Pork BBQ

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Thursday, December 13, 2007
Bubble Baths
After reading the comments on my last post, I started to wonder if I'd imagined the whole thing. I turned to my good friend, Google. When I didn't see anything on the first page, I really started to think I'd made it up.

Here's the article I finally found. The gist of it is that the soap causes irritation in the urethra, which causes the child to hold their urine, which causes a urinary tract infection. This occurs primarily with girls because of the shorter urethra.

I buy the California Baby bubble bath, shampoo, and conditioner at Target. They're non-toxic and have a wonderful smell. I read a review in Adoptive Families magazine about the conditioner being good for dry Asian hair, and all their products for sensitive skin. I had it waiting for us when we got home and have been using them every since. I love the way they smell. They're a bit pricey, but the shampoo and conditioner go a long way. The bubble bath goes faster, but it's more fun.

The bottom line is that I don't know if it's a myth or fact about girls and bubble baths, but I don't have to worry about it with this product.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
How Do You Do?
It's been an interesting week up here in cold land. We really can't complain because we were spared the worst of the ice storms, but we had enough to cause us to have two-hour delays at school on Monday and Tuesday. If the forecasted storm had actually come to fruition last night, we'd probably be home today. Luckily, the temps were just a degree or two higher than forecasted and the ice became rain.

When school is delayed, teachers are still expected to report on time. The daycare, however, is only officially open during the hours that students are here. I just brought Sera's cereal and milk to my office, turned the TV on to PBS, and let her watch Curious George and Clifford The Big Red Dog, while I worked. She had her doggie and her Mei Mei, so all was good.

Yesterday, however, she did the funniest thing. I forgot to tell Jim last night, so this will be news to him, too. Her stroller was by my desk chair. At one point, I turned around to check on her. She grabbed my right hand with her right hand, shook it, and said hello. I started laughing. She did it multiple times. I've never shaken hands with her before. In fact, I don't think I've even shaken someone else's hand in front of her before. I asked at daycare, and they do a little bit, but not really. When I picked her up in the afternoon, they told me she'd been shaking hands and saying hello all day. Hmmm...I hope she's not a born politician. I'm kind of over politics right now. I'm already tired of the 2008 election.

Jim does the bath and bed routine about 90% of the time. On the few occasions I do it, she will look for daddy, but she's usually fine with either of us. On Sunday, Jim had his big game, so I put Sera to bed. We usually leave her room at 7ish and she's down for the night. On Sunday, she played, she tossed, she turned, and then she started crying for mama, up, mama, up. After a few torturous minutes, I went into her room and got her. I don't like to get her after she's gone to bed because it's never less than 2 1/2 hours before I can get her to sleep. It doesn't matter if it's 7:30 PM or 1:30 AM; it's 2 1/2 hours. I had things to do Sunday night, so I decided to try something different. I brought her into my bed, turned off all the lights, muted the TV and put on closed captioning. I was afraid I'd fall asleep if I didn't have something to focus on. And tucked her into bed with me hoping she'd fall asleep. HA! She watched silent TV. She played with Elmo. She played with doggie. She played the tickle game with me. I noticed that whenever she would actually lie down and try to relax that she'd start coughing. I figured her congestion was making her cough when she was lying down. I know it does me. By the time I decided to give her a little Benadryl to help her congestion, she was practically doing somersaults on my bed. She gets a little hyper when she's overtired. I gave her the medicine, put her in her crib where she sobbed like I broke her heart for about 45 seconds and then went sound asleep.

Next night, daddy's home so we're back to our routine. Jim puts her to bed and heads to the basement to do some work. I head upstairs to do some laundry. About 7:30, it starts again...mama, up, mama, up. Hmmm...last night didn't work. If I go in her room though, she'll want to play. Time for Plan C.

Plan C was similar to Plan B. I brought her back into my room. I made the room pitch black and I turned the TV to the XM Classical Christmas station. Surely this would make her sleepy. HA!! She sat up on my bed and played with my hands, my face, and tickled my belly. She played with Elmo, whose glowing eyes when he sings his song is just creepy in the dark. I had told her when I got her out of her crib that she could come with me for a little bit, but then it would be back to her bed. After 20 minutes, I took her back to her crib where she again cried for 45 seconds and went to sleep.

What would Wednesday bring? Was this going to be our new routine? When we got home from work, Sera and I played while Jim changed clothes and settled in. After about 30 minutes, I headed out to do a little shopping. My goal was to be back before 6 PM because one of the things I was buying was more bubble bath* for her. I would have made it but I had the most methodical cashier ever at Target. You know the kind. Pick up the item, look at it, try to scan it. Fail. Try again, turn it over and find the barcode, and finally, scan it. Stop and take a really good look at the item now. You may want to get one later. Look at both open bags and decide which one to place it in. Place the non-breakable item gently into the bag while adjusting the other items already in their oh so carefully. You know how fragile deoderant and books can be. I was ready to gently move her to the side and scan my own things in. MUST BE PATIENT.

Anyway, I didn't leave Target until 6, so I called Jim and told him he might not want to wait for me. He decided a few minutes wouldn't hurt and she'd been asking for me, so he waited. I had picked up two small $1 Christmas board books. When I walked in the house, I handed Jim the bubble bath and Sera the books. She was so happy to get those books. She and I sat on the couch looking at them while daddy got the bath ready. In minutes, he was downstairs and she was giving me a good night kiss.

I relaxed for 5 minutes but then could hear her calling me. I grabbed my bags intending to drop them off on my bed and put a load in the washer before peeking in on her in the tub. As soon as I got to the top of the stairs, she started calling me again. I put the bags down and joined them in the bathroom. Sera is becoming much more vocal about which one of us she wants. She spends a lot of time with me, so I do not begrudge Jim his time before bed. In fact, most nights I'm ready for a break by then. I guess because I'd been gone all afternoon, she wanted me to stay. She'll look at whichever one of us she wants to leave, wave, and says bye-bye. That's when we know we've been dismissed. She dismissed Jim. He didn't leave, however. He stayed in the doorway, and we chatted while she finished playing in the tub. When it was time to get out, I started picking up all the bath toys and Jim wrapped Sera up in the towel. She made it quite clear that she wanted me last night, so Jim suggested I take over the night routine, and he'd grill up some burgers since neither of us had eaten yet. That sounded good to me.

After I got Sera all lotioned up (her favorite part) and into her pjs, we snuggled on the rocker and watched a little bit of one of her dvds. She usually likes to play a bit before bed, but not this night. She wanted her blanket, which she's taken to call ghee ghee, and I have no idea why. And she wanted to snuggle. I had no problem with that plan at all. After a bit, I placed her in her crib with all her required objects**. I told her I loved her. She told me nigh-nigh. And she slept all night long.

Then I headed out to the delicous freshly ground burger my husband had grilled and dressed just the way I like them...plus two loads of laundry, a stack of Christmas cards, some bill paying, and a bit of online shopping....oh, and some blog reading, too. Just a normal relaxing evening at home.

*I know bubble baths aren't good for girls. We buy California Baby bubble bath. It's all natural, no chemicals. The bubbles don't last long, but it also comes with a wand that lets you blow more bubbles.

**It used to be one doll. We added doggie, a small stuffed Lady from Lady and the Tramp, about two weeks ago. The Elmo she got over the weekend from breakfast with Santa is now required, and last night, she insisted on bringing both new books to bed, too. She's going to need a bigger crib.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007
Breakfast with Santa

We had breakfast with Santa today. It was not a rousing success. Sera looked adorable. She was wearing a cute little Santa dress. I'll get pictures next time she's in it.

This started as an idea for an intimate little gathering of our playgroup. A way for our children to meet Santa that a little more comfortable and stress-free. The idea was so popular that the place was packed. It was standing room only and very noisy. Sera got a little stressed out by all the commotion.

The three of us, Jim, Sera, and me, were sharing one chair. Jim and I would take turns sitting down with Sera on our lap. It was my turn. Sera was sitting on my lap coloring and taking an occasional bite of pancake when Santa entered the room. Her reaction was visceral. She literally clawed her way as she turned around and buried her face in my neck. She peeked once and buried her face again until he was well past us. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.

There was a little alcove area that was set up for the kids to sit on his lap, get a present, and for parents to take photos. After a while, I asked Sera if she wanted to go meet Santa. She reacted with a very strong no, so daddy went and got her present for her. Each parent had provided their own child's gift, so we knew she'd love it. It's an Elmo plush that sings I love you and whose eyes light up with stars. She went head over heels for it. We left after about an hour and headed home. She immediately crashed for a good two hours and woke up happy to be home and away from that scary man.

We didn't take any pictures because she just wasn't happy. I'd rather do without a Santa picture than traumatize her by making her go sit on his lap.

The above picture was taken after Jim had his oral surgery. He'd made a bowl of cereal and let it get mushy so he could eat it. Sera thought it was absolutely delicious, so he let her eat it. Then he made a second bowl because he didn't get much of the first bowl, and she ate it, too.

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Friday, December 07, 2007
And The Winner Is....
I regularly check my site meter to see who's visiting and how they got here. Like everyone I get my share of people who get here by Google search. I have one post that I wrote on September 7, 2006 that shows up in more searches than anything else. I even found it listed today in a new search site that I had never see before.

Who knew so many people were looking for a good peanut butter fudge recipe? If you're one of them, here's the link to that post.

By the way, it really is that easy and that good.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007
Passing On The Info
Couple of quick notes today. I have an odd schedule today. We had school until 10 AM. Then I raced home to get Sera down for a nap before she fell asleep in the car. She, apparently, didn't appreciate my stay awake song in the car. It made her cry. On the upside, she's sleeping now. If she falls asleep in the car, I have to let her sleep in the car. Even if it's only five minutes before we get home, she won't go back to sleep.

I have to head back to school and be there from 3:30-7:00 for parent conferences. I despise parent conference night. Why, you ask? Do I despise talking to parents about their children? Nope, that's not it. I despise sitting in a hard little cafeteria chair for 3 1/2 hours waiting for parents, and the only ones who show up are the ones I don't need to see. You can only say your child is doing great in class so many times before it gets old. I want to see the parents of the child who goes to sleep everey single day. Every single day, I send him to the office for sleeping. Know what he said to me yesterday on his way out the door? Why can't you just let me sleep? My answer? I won't go to your house and make you type, and you don't get to sleep in my classroom. Okay, a little smart-alecky on my part, but this is a 17-year-old boy. He thinks I should just let him sleep every day? I want to see the parents of the child who hasn't been in class since the first day of the trimester. She's in school, but ends up in the office before our 4th period class every day. I want to see the parents of the student who's seriously considering becoming a "street pharmacist." His latest role model is American Gangster because "he did a few years in jail and came out a millionaire." I haven't seen the movie, nor do I know the story, but I'm not impressed.

Okay, didn't mean to turn this post into a rant. I did want to share a huge giveaway at 5 minutes for Mom. It's an awesome prize package from Parents Magazine.

Every now and then you stumble across a really touching post. Here is one.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Happy Birthday!! - UPDATED with pictures
It's Jim's birthday today, and I just wanted to wish him a happy day here, too.

We're going out to dinner tonight with seven friends and looking forward to it. We're heading to his favorite steak restaurant. Sera will be joining us as plans A, B, and C failed to materialize. We've only left Sera once before and never had a sitter at our home. We had some people lined up as possibilities, but all three had plans for this evening. I'm going to put her down for a nap as soon as we get home. We're meeting early for dinner - 6 PM - so I'm hoping she'll be able to hang with us for a bit before melting down. If not, I may be heading home early.

Sera did an amazing job at dinner tonight. Even when I did a major goof and waited until after dinner to get a picture of her and Jim in front of the tree at the restaurant.


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Works For Me Wednesday - What Do I Fix Edition!


I haven't participated in WFMW in a very long time. I felt like I had run out of tips for everyone else. This challenge was one I could handle though.

Shannon's scenario - It's 5:15. The kids are insane, your husband is on his way home, and you haven't given dinner a thought. What do you do?

If takeout doesn't work and your husband doesn't have plans to cook dinner that night, make what I made last night. Now I'll admit to using shortcuts, but that's what they're for.

Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Peas

Thaw one package of chicken breasts in microwave. You can thaw in sink of cold water if you remember earlier in the day.

Place chicken in baking pan. Drizzle olive oil on each breats. Flip the chicken around so the oil gets on both sides. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with garlic salt, lemon pepper, and paprika. Slice 1/2 an onion and scatter the slices around the chicken. Toss and stir the whole thing around so everything gets coated with oil and spices. Spread back out in one layer. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Keep a package of refrigerated pre-made mashed potatoes in the refrigerator for nights like this. We like Yoder's brand. Nuke for three minutes, stir, and nuke for two more minutes.

Heat up your favorite peas. We like LeSeur canned peas. Some prefer frozen.

Basic dinner with all food groups covered, kid-friendly (my 19-month-old daughter enjoys it), husband-friendly, and super easy.

Be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer to read more suggestions.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Top O'The Mornin' To You
It's 5 AM, do you know where your child is? I do, she JUST fell asleep.

Sera woke up crying at 1:30 AM. She must have had a nightmare because this is so not her. Jim brought her into our room where she lay in my arms for about 30 minutes. Well, lay isn't quite the right word. She played with my hand and poked daddy and played with Shadow's ear. She did not, however, sleep. At 2, I decided to take her into her room so that at least daddy could sleep. We rocked for awhile, but she wasn't going to sleep. I put Mary Poppins on and she sat on my lap and watched it for over an hour. Then it was time to get down on the floor and play. She rocked on her butterfly, played with staking cups, brought Guess How Much I Love You to me to read, and played her newest version of Peek-a-boo now called I See You. She goes to the opposite side of her crib and hides. Then she peeks through the slats until you peek back from your side. When you do, she starts giggling and says I see you.

Jim woke up around 4 and came to check on us. He took advantage of a diaper change to sneak back out and go back to bed. When she noticed he was gone, she was a little upset. She wanted daddy to come play, too. We sat back on the rocker and watched the rest of Mary Poppins. I was just rocking away while she sat straight up. She wouldn't even lay back against me. She was determined not to go back to sleep. Eventually I noticed that her entire body was swaying with each rock, I peeked at her face and she was sound asleep.

I popped her back in her crib and came to the computer to email my lesson plans for the day. Somehow I don't think my three hours sleep would make me a very effective teacher today, plus who knows what kind of day Sera is going to have when she wakes up. Hopefully, it's not at 6 AM when I usually get her up.

Why am I not sleeping now? I'm just waiting for 5:30 AM so I can call in and get a sub lined up.

I'd say flexibility is key when you become a parent. Plans are what you make so you can change them. Have a great day everyone!

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Sunday, December 02, 2007
We All Live In Elmo's World
Sera loves Elmo. I think it's a requirement of toddlerhood, and she's fallen right in step. Earlier today she started saying Elmo, Elmo over and over. She kept making come here motions with her hand. I was confused for a minute and thought maybe I was hearing her wrong. Who is she calling Elmo? Our dog. She thought it was hilarious. She'd call him to her calling Elmo. Since he'll run to her with the slightest provocation, he always came to her. She'd then laugh and laugh.

Does this mean she's renamed Shadow? Hmmm.......................

*I plan to mail out Christmas cards this week. I think I'll have some left over. Drop me an email with your address of you'd like to get one.

UPDATED to add email link. It's also on the sidebar as Talk to Me.

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