Ian’s vocab

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My four year old Ian, I believe your vocabulary might be past your age bracket. Here’s the conversation we had today just before nap:

M: You’re playing with your Cars figures a lot today, do you like them?
I: Yeah, they’re cool.
M: Is that Mader? Is he your favorite?
I: Yes, it is. He’s a tow truck. He’s really big, do you see how big he is? But I like Lightening McQueen better.
M: Really? Where’s your Lightening McQueen car?
I: Well, I have several but none are available right now.

Uh, ok kid. I didn’t know you knew how to use the word available correctly. A few weeks ago you asked me if you could help carry the beverages downstairs. I love it, but I’m a bit surprised by your vocab skills!

Last night I finally got to put you to bed. Your sister is pretty attached to Mommy and usually cries if Mommy leaves the room, so Daddy gets to put you to bed most days. It was nice to read you a book, cuddle and talk in bed. We talked about when you grow up, you said you might want to have some kids.

M: When you get older you’ll probably get married and have kids.
I: Yeah, that sounds about right.
M: How many kids do you think you’ll have?
I: Probably nine.
M: (trying not to giggle or sound surprised) Oh? That’s a bunch of kids! Do you think Daddy and I could visit and play with them?
I: That would be ok. It might be nine four-year-olds.
M: Well, we’ll do our best to play then.
I: Ok Mom, you can go now.

So, I was shocked then dismissed in a matter of a few minutes. You also said some rough things that made me sad, that you love Dad more and that you don’t love me. I know we’re still working on the concept that you can love many people, and I know that Dad’s the cool one right now. I’m sure it will come around again, it always does, but it’s amazing how much that can hurt a Mommy’s heart even though I know where it’s coming from.

Regardless, you woke up this morning happy and amazingly independent. You got right up, went to the bathroom, got yourself dressed (looked pretty handsome too!) and then came in to wake Dad and I up at 7:30. You politely asked us to get up, cuddled for a few minutes and then wandered off. We got up to find you quietly coloring by yourself. It’s a drawing to send to Judi to thank her for the birthday train book she made you, I’ll post a picture of it below.

Ian's drawing age 4Ian’s drawing of three robots and a fire.

Overall Ian you are awesome and never cease to amaze me. Moving past three has been great, and so far four is better and I’m so, so glad. Less tantrums, a little less sassiness, replaced with talking back and some hurtful well articulated comments, but so many more I love you’s, funny sayings, loving comments and just fun. Four might be a challenge but so far I think it’s more fun than three.

I love you Ian James Myers.

Elia’s first word

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Dear Elia,

You really started babbling yesterday (April 21, 2012) and talking about all kinds of things. “Gee, ga, da, buh buh buh!” You also said Dada and, to melt Daddy’s heart, said Daddy as he was changing you. I’m pretty sure you made his whole week with that one.

I cannot believe the vocal eruption that you’ve had in the last 24 hours. You went from a quiet, smiley baby to quite a chatterbox, but still smiling and wonderful. I can’t wait to find out what you really have to say.

I think the next big milestone is teeth. You’re so close on the bottom!

Love you little girl,

Mommy

Dear Ian,

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Dear Ian,

You are 4 in nine days. Yes, we’ve finally reached the single digit countdown. And I thought we’d never get here. 3 has been an eternity.

I wanted to capture some of the year we’ve endured so that we can come back and fill you in when it’s important. You know, like when you have kids. Ha!

But at the moment I am exhausted. See, your sister was sick last night and didn’t sleep all night, so neither did Mommy. So a shorter note you get now, with promises of more detail later.

Last week, you had a hard time listening and were just too excited after our trip to see Uncle Bill and Aunt Elia to settle down. You were naughty at school Tuesday, our first day back. So Wednesday we had a chat on the way to school. (Dad was in Seattle.) So we talked about good behavior and how important it is. And that we’d go to Target if you were good, since we needed to shop anyways and there could be something cool in store for you there. You know what you negotiated for at Target?

A toothbrush holder. Oh yeah, the plastic travel kind.

I am more than happy to spend a buck on this device which we need to get you anyways, so I agree. Then you proceed to tell me that you don’t think you can be good all day at school. You said, “Mom, I might have to be a little bit naughty.”

Well, at least you’re honest.

We went back and forth for awhile, and really what it seemed like was that you were negotiating just in case you weren’t good enough to earn your toothbrush holder, you wanted to be sure I’d still get it for you. I had a hard time keeping a straight face with all of this, and trying to explain to your teachers that you might be a little naughty. Awesome.

So, even though 3 has been tough, there are some funny moments.

Next day, we tried out Mc D’s for breakfast. Here’s how cute you are:

Breakfast with Ian

Oh, 9 more days. I am sure I’ll look back wistfully, but only when you’re 16 and more difficult.

I love you Ian.

Love,
Mommy

Celebrating the amazing capacity of women?

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I’m cleaning out my email. One of my personal ones has 421 unread messages and 632 just hanging out in there. Ugh. It makes me feel cluttered. (At least it’s not work…there I confess I have 514 unread and a whopping 2,917 in my inbox. Holy hell!) In my quest to get our schedules lined up for the next few months, I got distracted by email volume. I swear, I was looking for an email about a birthday party…when I came across an email from Atheta. You know, a Gap brand. I love their work out wear. I envision myself wearing their cute outfits as I work out. Whenever the hell that will be. I walked a mile on the treadmill tonight. It was hard and it’s a huge accomplishment. Can I now justify buying cute new exercise pants? Maybe.

Regardless, the email subject made me stop. It’s “Power to the She: Celebrating the Amazing Capacity of Women”. I read it and did NOT feel inspired. I felt angry. Cluttered, stressed, overwhelmed and just plain angry.

As women we do have a huge capacity. To love, to organize, to keep things afloat, to keep people together, to get things done. But instead of celebrating our “huge capacity”, I’m trying to organize my digital life and our home life, plan two trips and get all four people in my household’s calendars merged. NOT an easy task. My dear husband is sitting next to me, playing a game on his computer. He’s shooting stuff as a space-age weirdo. Vegging out.

Not to say he didn’t earn it. Today he hung me beautiful new shelves in our bar for our SuperBowl party tomorrow (see?)Bar shelving, glass holder, liquor storageand helped to clean the whole house. Elia was high maintenance today and demanded to be held, so we each did our parts. But while he takes a break, I worked out and keep going with planning. Am I insane? Driven? Do I suck at relaxing? Nope, I think it’s that I’m a woman. I do not relax well, and I feel like waking hours are precious. Bill on the other hand is playing a game. Or bonding with his daughter? You be the judge.

Goofing off or bonding?

Maybe it’s better to be a man.

Chives – restaurant review. Mmmm!

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Bill and I ate at Chives tonight to celebrate his birthday, it was amazing.  We dined at the Chef’s Table, where they just bring you food. Six courses, you don’t order anything except drinks. Here’s what I love about this:

  1. It was tasty, delicious, creative food. I’m still savoring dinner.
  2. I didn’t have to decide what I wanted (which is always tough for me to do). The chef deciding and bringing us things was exciting!
  3. Little portions so you can try lots of stuff (LOVE that).
  4. Six courses, did I mention that? Lots of options.
  5. YUM. Seriously.
  6. Oh, you get to eat in the kitchen. Seriously, in the back, in the kitchen. So fun. I’ve never been in a restaurant kitchen, it was so cool to see them build dishes and watch everyone work together.

Here’s some pics from our dinner, and my own accounting of what everything was. I did not take notes, this is in Maria-speak, so consider yourself notified.

Course 1:

Lobster bisque with cream and a un-beheaded-shrimp

This was thick and creamy and delicious. My only complaint, the eyes. I felt like it watched me eat it…and I was a little nervous about it. Plus it was watching me from the plate after, so I asked them to remove it. Thankfully they quickly complied, or I would have been forced to name it and suffer guilt. Alls well that ends well.

Bill and his shrimp

Course 2:

Asparagus, egg, radish greens, miso paste and hoisin sauce

This was the most creative dish I think, and my favorite. I would never have thought of putting this all together, and it was amazing. I want to eat it again.

Course 3:

Risotto with Italian truffle oil

I might get this one wrong, but I think there was Italian truffle oil, some kind of awesome cheese, risotto, some amazing greens. It was intensely flavorful and delish. Wanna see it again, another angle maybe?

Risotto...yum

Course 4:

Applewood smoked bacon wrapped scallop on sweet potato

So I immediately cut into this and chowed down…so this is Bill’s since he moved slower on this course than me. YUM. The ingenious part of this is around the outside, it’s maple syrup and mustard. I would NEVER in a million years think to mix the two, or to pair it with all this. Totally worth it. This was a good combo.

Course 5:

Buffalo tenderloin on brandied onions and spinach

We have eaten buffalo before and loved it, but never had anything like this. The meat was so fresh, the chef told us he gets it from a local farmer. It’s never frozen, when they have meat available he buys it all. I can see why, this was great. More rare than I would normally order but it was so good, another reason that I am glad I didn’t get to choose the dishes. Most likely I would have ordered it medium or something and not gotten to experience this, so so good. The buffalo was encrusted in peppercorns, spicy and delish. Honestly, the onions and spinach were so good I’d eat them on their own. Any time.

Course 6:

Smores creme brulee with homemade graham cracker

This was such a cool adult take on a smores. Chef said normally the marshmallows are homemade, but they ran out, so we survived with purchased marshmallows. The standout component of this dish though was the homemade graham cracker. It was never occurred to me to make my own graham crackers, and it should. These are amazing, the texture was so different than the box stuff. Bill and I debated it on the way home, it was so different it challenged our concept of what a graham cracker is. (Several martinis in Bill becomes pretty existential.) Honestly, I don’t care what a graham cracker really is or should be, I just want you to keep these coming. It was less crumbly, more dense, spicier and just so much better overall than any box graham cracker. I was so thrilled with it they brought me another, which lead to cheering on my part. Ahhh, yum.

One last shot of the happy birthday guy.

Happy Birthday Bill!

I love this man. I will do anything for him, dine anywhere with him, follow him to the ends of the earth. So far, he’s only taken me to Wisconsin, but we’ll see where we go from here. What I can tell you is that we’ll be returning to Chives soon, probably with kids in tow. I can’t wait to try some stuff off their regular menu.

Want to learn more, or book your own experience? http://chivesdining.net or you can find them on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/chivesdining. I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed. (and no, I am in no way compensated for this recommendation, I just had such a great time I wanted to share it.)