Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Jacob

We spent tonight with Amy, Josh, Baby Jacob and Josh's parents. We actually got to Amy and Josh's house before Josh got home from work. It was nice to see Daddy reunited with his baby after a long day away.

Look at this precious bundle. And these teeny tiny newborn feet. Here's an action shot of Amy being a mom. And little Baby Jacob in his Academy Award nominated role of newborn of the year.When Amy was finished changing Jacob she handed him, with no warning, to Michael. He was very surprised and very, very delighted. He has obviously blocked Spencer's first 4 months out of his memory bank. Jacob was quite content on Michael's arm. And then I took him and he was quite pissed.But I know a thing or two about calming these little guys down. I have a PhD in newborn crying. Then I pretended like I knew how to juggle 2 of them.Somewhere in there we ate cheesecake. It was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. Josh's dad said it was worth the trip to AZ just for the cheesecake. That's a pretty bold statement seeing as his first grandchild was the initial draw.

We took a bunch of group photos.

Josh and Amy and their babies, both human and canine. Josh with his dad and son. 3 generations! Amy with her son and mother-in-law.Wow. What a crew! Hooray for first born sons. (I should try to photoshop Ginger into this picture. Maybe for tomorrow's blog)And now, just because I am some new breed of lame and obsessive compulsive and like to pretend that Jacob and Spencer are brothers, a side by side comparison of Jacob at 10 days and Spencer at 18 days.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The cheesecake is done

I now have 8th degree burns on the palms of my hands. Apparently it's not very safe or smart to pour boiling hot caramel into a sandwich bag and then pipe it onto a cheesecake. The bag didn't melt or anything, but it certainly didn't insulate the heat from my skin. My caramel drizzle is a little thick as a result. Oh well. It'll still taste good I hope.

Spencer helped me bake. The words "crust" and "cheesecake" are now part of his vocabulary. He'll be demanding cheesecake for breakfast now. Anyway, I pulled out a can of sweetened condensed milk. Spencer picked it up and called it "cow's can milk". How precious and brilliant is that? I let him taste a little bit. We poured it into the mixing bowl. Then I turned away to get the vanilla. When I turned back Spencer was taking quite the liberal approach to "sampling". He was literally shoveling the cow's can milk into his mouth as fast as he could. What can I say? He's my son. And sweetened condensed milk, which I will forever more refer to as cow's can milk, is darn tasty.

Here's the little baking assistant sound asleep on Monday night. How in the world is his leg able to stay up like that? Like I said- he's sound asleep. REM. Little to no muscle tone. Weird.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random and mostly boring stuff

I feel like fun and exciting days come in waves around here. We have stretches with a lot of fun stuff to do where I'm taking lots of pictures and then there are days where I can't think of any reason to even get the camera out.

My mom was here last Wednesday night. When my parents are around Ginger hightails it out of our room to sleep with them. This was Thursday morning. I promised my mom she wasn't in the picture, but you can see her legs under the sheets. It wasn't enough for Ginger to lay next to her, she had to lay on top of her. Thanks for the loyalty, Ginger. (Hey Laura, do you recognize the quilt that I made in our FRESHMAN YEAR home ec. class circa 1994?)

Spencer sleeping on Thursday morning. He's making that face because of the flash. Amazingly he didn't wake up. Spencer got 2 water guns in the goody bags from Sara's birthday party. I filled them and taught him how to use them. He promptly shot me in the face and then proceeded to drink all the water out of both of them, 1 shot at a time.

Do you see the hideous bruise on his face? He tripped in a public bathroom at the park and smacked his head on the edge of a metal door. Had it bled I was faced with the distinct possibility that he would need a tetanus shot and a full body dip into a vat of bleach.
We're going to Josh and Amy's for dinner on Thursday. I'm going to be making this bad boy. Dulce de Leche cheesecake. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'll also have new cute pictures of baby Jacob soon.

I asked Spencer if he thought mommy and daddy should have a baby. He said no. Guess that's that.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Golf Pro

I am back after a long weekend in Tucson.

A very important "thing" happened in Tucson on Thursday night. For the first time in his life Spencer was put to bed by someone other than his mom and/or dad. I don't have a picture of it because, duh, I wasn't there. Who, you ask, was the lucky chap putting Spencer to bed? My dad, of all people. I would go as far as saying he is the least likely candidate of all 4 grandparents. He was successful though, because Spencer was asleep within 5 minutes. It helps that Spencer never napped that day.

On Saturday morning Nathan and Kendra and Kendra's parents came over to my parents house for breakfast. Nathan and Kendra gave Spencer a little golf caddy with several clubs and golf balls. My mom said it was a perfect example of why 1st borns end up spoiled. Easter? Here's a present. 2 and a half years old? Here's a present. Tuesday? Here's a present. Coming over for breakfast? Here's a present.

Anyway. Spencer LOVED it! I think my parents grass has like 276 divots now, but he was getting better at making the club connect with the ball by the time we ate.

On Saturday afternoon we went to baby Sara's 1st birthday party. I'll have pictures of that soon. I'm waiting for Laura (the proud mommy) to share her pictures before I post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nothing says baby......

Like frosted sugar cookie bars.

Amy and Josh and the maternity ward nurses are the recipients of these beauties. In exchange for my baking I got some snuggle time with this 1-day-old cutie.

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup butter; room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla & mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan).

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

1/2 cup butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)

Combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookie.

(I added a little marshmallow fluff (1/2 cup) to the frosting.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh Baby!

Babies! They are everywhere right now. I know people having babies left and right. Seriously. I know at least 1 baby being born in every month of 2010. I just found out about someone who is having a baby in December. It's still a secret though (it's not me).

On Monday, April 19th, at 2:50 am, my cousin Austin and his wife Julee welcomed this little bundle of girlie goodness.

Zoe Claire, my 2nd cousin, weighed in at 8 pounds 7 ounces. They live in Virginia and I probably won't meet this new relative of mine for quite some time. She's cute don't ya think?On Tuesday, April 20th, just before 1 pm, Amy gave birth to the most handsome blondie of a boy. Jacob Rainier weighed in at 7 pounds 2 ounces and was a staggering 22 inches long. I had a job interview at 3:30 (it went well!) otherwise I would have been at the hospital earlier. This is Jacob at about 5 hours old. I could just roll him up and pop him in my mouth and munch on him. Look at all this blonde hair! Amy did so good. They have been waiting for this day for a long, long, long time.

This was Amy with Spencer about 4 hours after he was born. She was one of his first visitors. I'm so glad that I got to be the same for Jacob.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Skin Cancer

Michael and I love to watch old episodes of Seinfeld. One of our favorites is the Pimple Popper, M.D. Are you familiar with it? Jerry goes on a revenge date with a dermatologist because he was annoyed that she was bragging about saving lives. He goes off on a tirade and calls her Pimple Popper, M.D. right before a man thanks her for saving his life after he got skin cancer. My favorite tag line from the episode is where Jerry snaps his fingers and says "skin cancer" in a tone of annoyance because he forgot that a dermatologist treats that. It's hilarious.

But there is nothing funny about skin cancer (oh my god, I sound like the beginning of a public service announcement). I got really serious about sun protection when I was about 18. Most people get more tan in the summer. I get more pale. I go to my dermatologist every year for a complete head to toe skin check. I've had numerous "iffy" moles and bumps taken off.

A couple of days ago I found a very strange bump on my head. I will spare you the yucky details but I was very concerned about it. I emailed a picture to Kendra (she's a doctor. It's very convenient to have one of those in the family). She assured me it wasn't melanoma but she couldn't tell what it was in an emailed picture with lots of hair in the way (and she calls herself a doctor!) She told me to go to the doctor and have it checked and biopsied if need be. So I started doing some research (you know, with google) and came to the conclusion that it was a basal cell carcinoma.

This is a picture of me.

These are the risk factors for basal cell carcinoma:

Fair skin- CHECK

Blond or red hair- CHECK AGAIN

Blue or Green eyes- DOUBLE CHECK

Lives in the Southwest- CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

Family history of basal cell carcinoma- Big ol fat CHECK

History of blistering sunburn as a child- HELL YES CHECK

Previous basal cell carcinoma- NOT YET

Weakened immune system- NO (Hey, I've got something going for me)

Exposure to arsenic, coal, industrial tar or paraffin (do candles count for paraffin?)

So, I called my dermatologist this morning. I couldn't get in for an emergency appointment for 3 weeks. My dermatologist is kind of famous. I've never actually met her, I just see the Physician Assistant. I think I need a new dermatologist. So I went to my regular doctor. Good news. I have an infected benign cyst. Well, that's still kind of gross, but it's not cancer. Score 1 for the pale blond girl in Phoenix.

Anyway, I will be no less diligent about my sun protection just because it's not a basal cell. And you shouldn't either. Use sun block. Stay out of the sun between 10 and 4 (or between May and November in my case). Wear sunglasses and a hat. I need to be better about the hat. Don't tan. Wear protective clothing. Embrace the pale. I do.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Please leave a comment with your vote.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it that we're trying to teach Spencer to say, "Papa, 20 dollars please."?

Voting key:

1- no harm done

3- a loud sigh followed by shaking your head in disbelief

5- a serious frown on our parenting abilities

7- counseling is in our future

10- 1-800-CPS

Friday, April 16, 2010

Two Posts in One

Post #1- Saying Thanks

I have been wanting to bake something for the staff of the veterinary office where Ginger spent the night when she ran away. I've had many chances to do the baking, just not much time to deliver the treats. On Wednesday night, Spencer helped me whip up a batch of........

Chocolate whoopie piesThey were delicious. The staff really appreciated them. We still really appreciate them taking care of Ginger.

Post #2- My actual conversation with Spencer on Thursday afternoon

Mommy: Spencer, did you dump all your toys on the floor?
Spencer: Yes, me did.
Mommy: Why did you do that?
Spencer: Me busy.
Mommy: Well, you need to help me pick all of this up.
Spencer: No clean up time. Play time.
Mommy: Honey, there's not even room to sit down on the floor. We need to pick some stuff up so we have room to sit down. Will you help me?
Spencer: Ginger help.
Mommy: No, Ginger can't help.
Spencer: Mommy, me busy.
Mommy: Spencer, you need to help.
Spencer: No, I can't do it.
Mommy: Spencer, do I need to count to three?
Spencer: Ahh, I can't reach (as he's trying to put something on the shelf).
Mommy: Well, put your legos in the bucket.
Spencer: No, mommy, me busy.

My comments about this conversation:

#1) I do speech therapy with a 4th grader who cannot take more than 2 conversational turns before losing track of the subject. Spencer and I can take like 14 turns before the subject resolves itself. Isn't that awesome?

#2) Did you notice the pronouns? He's got "me" and "I". He still confuses them.

#3) He has contractions. Well, it's only "can't". He has 1 contraction, but that's still impressive.

#4) Spencer is quite busy in his day to day life. He's always telling us he's busy. He needs a palm pilot to keep his play time, nap time, eating time and clean up time organized.

#5) Did you hear me threatening to count to 3? Do you realize, like I do, that I have turned into my mother and I might as well change my name to Carol?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Broom and bubbles

I can think of no better use for a broom than for popping bubbles.

It's just wholesome fun. And leaves a surprisingly dirty floor given that the two materials are typically used for cleaning.