31 May 2010

Weekly Update 05.31.10

Our rose bush is a-blooming, yay!

Quick update, as we are a little busy around these parts:

Last week during the week we all kept pretty darn busy: I made treats for both book club and a coworker's birthday. At work I had a lot of meetings and a lot of proofs to work on at work and I realized, about mid-week (in the middle of a somewhat-boringish meeting in fact, as my mind wandered a little), that oh yeah hey I guess I didn't realize: his birthday party is at the end of next week - now this week. And there's a holiday stuck in there and I still haven't figured out outfits for pictures and still need to order cakes and party decorations and get my hair/brows done... Yikes. So I did some serious frenzy-like shopping and appt. booking, I think my bases are kinda covered now. Still need to nail down a party menu...

Um, here is my stash of party crap. Kinda finished. Er, something.

We spent the holiday weekend in Scott's hometown - he had a class reunion to attend on Saturday night, a pig roast at one of the parks. We also spent quality time with Scott's parents, they got a lot of personal time with Peter. Lots of fun all around.

Sunday night Scott and I did a lovely, looooong date night in Wichita - we went shopping for Peter for his birthday, spent a long time goofing around and checking out the goods at Toys R Us. I realized it has been many, many years since I had stepped foot in one of those stores. Next we hit up Towne East mall. We decided to end our day with dinner and a movie in Old Town... and it started pouring when we hit the area. Monsoon-style downpour, no joke.

Monsoooooon! Glad we parked in the parking garage...

We bought our tickets at the theater to Ironman 2 (be jealous Alaina), hoping to just dine there, but realized the theater had closed their restaurant/bar inside so we sprinted through the rain to the nearest restaurant. Had a lovely long meal at Old Chicago, and the rain slowed in time for our trip back to the theater. We got to the ticket line, only to realize: while the bar/restaurant was gone, all of their theaters now have seat-side dining and cocktails. Sweet! The Old Town Wichita Warren is now officially my second-favorite movie theater of all time. So I had a nice Ad Astra while I watched our movie. Which was quite good, in case you were wondering. (a summer blockbuster full of highly respected actors? Rock on)...

Mmm, movie Ad Astra (bonus: I took this picture just as a waitress lady walked past, she probably thought I was one of those black-market movie people).

We got back to Scott's parents' house late that night only to discover that Peter was sick. He was feverish and not sleeping well, so we all had a long night. The next day we left at nap time in the late morning, and I'm glad we did. His fever broke for a few hours when we got home, but then veered right back into lethargy and high temps again. Boo. I guess at least he is getting this out of his system now instead of at the end of the week...

Yes. He's wearing shorts. Not pants. Even better: they are size 6 Months. He has the Kemmeter shorty disease.

I promise there will be many updates in the coming week: we have family pictures, the birthday party, the Official Birthday date, I have a work trip... No rest for the wicked, right?

PS: This picture was taken in his moment of healthiness when we got home: we broke down and gave him one of his birthday gifts early. And he loved it. You can't really see it, but his "baby" Jay is not the only rider. He also included his Matchbox Escalade with the custom black-cherry paint job and 24-inch custom gold rims. He has good taste. And also: Matchbox makes some awesome cars these days.

29 May 2010


Whether coworkers or my fellow book clubbers or clients or acquaintances of all times - people are asking how much longer until Doots turns a year old. "So close! Oh, but your baby is almost gone!" Then imagine them making Sad Face for me at the very idea of OMG NO LONGER A BABY WAAAAAAAH.


Ladies and gents: the baby, he disappeared a long time ago. The birthday may still be a week or so away, but that doesn't matter. We are well into Toddlerdom. My baby, he sat nicely and smiled up at me sweetly and babbled oh-so-softly. Yeah, this current child is not a baby.

My baby most certainly did not:

  • Insist on taking his toothbrush into the bath, then repeatedly dip it into his bathwater and back into his mouth, sucking loudly and grinning widely. He knows that totally grosses me out.

  • Signal that he was finished eating at his meals by throwing his plate and any remaining food on the floor.

  • Enjoy pulling tissue paper out of the box. Like, in a doing-it-in-slow-mo-to-fully-savor-the-moment kind of way.

  • Stand under the pantry and demand all the boxes of Rice A Roni. Then drag them all to his mat and ceremoniously shake every box while he dances.

  • Walk around the house singing at the top of his lungs.

  • Insist that he does all the sweeping whenever I'm cleaning the house.

  • Freak out when we're in the car and are driving behind a huge ole' truck. Point! Point! Hooty noise! PointPointPoint!

  • Decide that pushing a "baby" (stuffed monkey) in a doll stroller, all around the daycare living room, is the Best Time Ever. (Actually: he alternates between throwing it in front of the stroller, running it over with the stroller, and then picking it up by its ear and plopping it back into the stroller seat.)

  • Have moments of what I like to refer to as "Fits of Thunder", epic temper tantrums of crying, tears, hands-over-mouth-in-horror, then throwing himself prone on the floor while moaning. And then in 2 seconds it's all over and he's off to a new adventure.

  • Stand motionless at the door, watching his father mow the lawn in complete and utter awe.

  • Require approximately 15 stuffed animals as well as his beloved blanket to be in his crib at all times.

  • Come at me full-tilt, screaming all the way, and give me big sloppy kisses.

  • Take pleasure in pulling off his socks at every opportunity, shoving them both in his mouth.

  • Try to nonchalantly sneak into a free chair at the "preschooler" table at daycare, where the big kids have their lessons and coloring sessions.

  • Yank on my skirt excitedly whenever he spies my cell phone, so I will play the "Funky" ringtone so he can jam out.

  • Jump on our bed every chance he can get.

  • Know when to work the "mama" and the "dada" calls in his favor - for snacks and lemonade and things out of reach and when tired or bummed out or can't find his blanket...

  • Walk. Oh boy, well: at least, attempt to walk. Drunken zombie-style.

Drunken Zombie! from Emily Mueller on Vimeo.

28 May 2010

Lime Meltaways

When I was pregnant with Peter I loved lime desserts. I mean, I really really really loved them. Could not get enough of them. The more tart, the better. My husband has always had a Thing for the tart as well, so when it comes to Peter’s palate - it was no surprise to us that he will happily nosh on lemons and limes when they are offered to him. Not even so much as a scrunchy face, y’all. This boy loves his tart fruits.

Anyway, I find myself cooking and baking a lot more with limes these days, and especially now with summer approaching. There are usually at least 3-4 limes in our fridge at all times (erm, this might also have to do with the fact that we sometimes imbibe in a nice Gin and Tonic in the summer. But anyway!). I needed a dessert to bring for book club this week, but didn’t feel like running out to the grocery store for supplies, so when I opened the fridge and my eyes landed on the limes, I decided that was the route I was going. My Cookie book had a great recipe for meltaways I had wanted to try for awhile now.

This is my first time making meltaways. These are sharp, almost bitter cookies that would probably edge into the “savory” category as far as taste, if it weren’t for that thick coating of sweet, powdery sugar. Quite good, like a very lime-flavored buttery shortbread. Peter would have loved them, but I didn’t have the guts to deal with the crumbly, powdery, sticky mess that would ensue. He had to just make do with the rinds/pulp after I got done using the limes for my cookies.

Needless to say he was not really disappointed.

Lime Meltaways
(from the Martha Stewart Cookie book)

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. confectioners' sugar, divided
Zest of 2 limes
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. coarse salt

Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

24 May 2010

For the love of Cars

Peter loooooves his cars. Loves them. His cousin Dylan started his obsession with the movie Cars (and all things Cars-movie related) at about the age Peter is now. He knows every car in that film, all the names and their back stories and he has a million of the movie-related cars and books and other assorted toys. He's obsessed, but in an endearing, adorable kind of way.

My parents have their own copy of the movie. And we had a few free hours before dinner and Peter's bedtime. I was kinda excited and hopeful that this would be the start of Peter's own beautiful relationship with the film. What follows is a synopsis of how his first-ever viewing of the film went.

At the beginning of the movie he watched intently.

Then he took a moment to check on some of Muzzy's cats in the sun room.

Then he played some hide-and-seek with the kitty.

Then he came over to smile sweetly at me, trying to get a piece of my candy.

He went back to the movie watching from dad's lap. Sideways. While waving around his Cars van thingie (help me out on the name, Dyl).

Thwarted from checking out Muzzy's sewing desk.

Oh, yeah. The movie. Back to cheering for the cars.

Contemplating how long it would take to scale the back of the couch to the other side.

Coming back to do a quick booty-dance to the movie's music.

Tear off to the other side of the family room.

Think about playing with the marble eggs.

Find a hobby horse, woohoo!

And then the Cars viewing was officially over, as Scott spied the hobby horse and had to give it a go himself. The end.
Hrmmph. Maybe he'll be interested in watching it for more than 2 minutes the next time we visit.

23 May 2010

Weekly Update 05.23.10

Stealing a page from some other blogs I follow, and doing the update this week with a bulleted list...

What I learned this week:

  • Pete's Hair + Humidity = Whooooooa, Nelly.

  • If you can't find candles in your wedding color, just spray-paint white ones.

  • Jeannie really likes having her picture taken (she asked me about half a dozen times this weekend).

  • While trying to paint the pinata, I learned that foam does not like spray paint. At all.

  • I thought the days of Peter sleeping in our bed ended at about age 5 months - at that point, he was just too excited to be in our bed to do any sort of sleeping there. That is until this week, when after an apparently-exhausting day at daycare, he curled up with his blanket and zonked out. I had to take a picture, because that could easily have been the last time.

  • Ants, sigh - after all the rain we've been having, all of NE KS has had ant issues. However: thanks to Fox4, I learned that ants can't digest cornmeal and if you leave it out for them, they take it back to their colony and everybody croaks. We left some out before our trip to Pittsburg and have seen hardly an ant since our return.

  • All it takes is 3 days in a row with his daddy to get Peter to say "da-da". A lot. Like, annoyingly a lot. I think he forgot how to say "ma-ma".

  • My Mahni girl gets prettier every day.

  • Broccoli and button mushrooms that are sauteed with a touch of balsamic vinegar are yum yum yum.

  • Nothing makes my boy's afternoon like a blankie in one hand and an apple slice in the other.

  • Free State Beer from a bottle tastes mighty fine. And means a quick 3-block trip rather than heading downtown, circling the blocks to find some parking, finally hitting the brewery, and fighting the thick crowd at the bar for 15 minutes - just to get my growler filled.

And as a PS - my favorite picture of the week. His face may be all blurred out from the flash and I cut off the lower part of his body, but I love it because this is my Doots, stumbling several steps to me, with such a lovely look on his face. Bliss.

16 May 2010

Weekly Update 05.16.10

Four baby pictures, with a non-baby picture tossed in there for some variety.

First and foremost: I am going to make this quick, and I mean it this time: I am sick. Siiiiiiiick, like the embarrassing sick where you kinda mope around and look like a giant wuss. But um. Everything hurts, my throat my ears my whole damn body. Wimper wimper wimper. However I am not even HALF as whiney as Pete was when he had this.

I mean, just look at him. See what you have to put up with when your child is miserable?

Peter's a-growing! He can take a few steps in a row, but still wipes out. Totally prefers crawling. He's picking up all sorts of fun new things - Scott showed him how to use his toy tools, so he keeps busy attempting to nail things (sideways) and use the screwdriver (upside down). Eh whatever. He says "bye bye" to go with his waving, and will randomly throw out a "yeah" in response when you are talking to him (I have come to the realization that perhaps I say "yeah" a bit too much).

He suddenly loooooves pictures of babies, so going through his baby album with him has been fun. The best part, though, is when he sees the family pictures, the smile goes away and he looks super concerned when he sees that baby WITH HIS PARENTS WHAT THE HECK STEP OFF, BABY. Hee! Also we flipped his car seat today. Uh, he thought it was the funniest thing ever to be able to face forward and see everything. Also he is totally going to be a seat-kicker. Yay.

I did the Crawl for Cancer on Saturday. Totally fun! And I didn't die like I was worried I was going to, which is a nice bonus.

So, there you go. Not kidding: that's about it.

Have a good week ladies and gents. See you again soon, hopefully in less discomfort. Off to refresh my 7-Up and turn in early.

14 May 2010

Things I Love... Friday

Okay in all honesty, do you want to know what happened to me on Thursdays? I had a “get together” night with a friend move from Tuesday evenings to Thursday evenings, and it kinda took over the time I probably spent pulling this together. And sometimes we don’t meet up, but that’s when we’re both too busy to fit it in (like, you know, when I’m too busy watching Fringe). So –I think we are moving this to Fridays instead. Sorry Thursdays! You just don’t quite fit the bill any longer.

Blah! Life! So complicated-ish. So anyway here are my thoughts on the awesome for this week:

Lauren Dress
This little black dress is just so gorgeous. Black is always awesome and classic (and slimming!) but this one bumps into the Love category with the great lines and that adorable collar.

Pirate’s Booty
For anyone with a little baby who is just learning how to eat, you are probably contemplating those Gerber Puffs, Wagon Wheels, and Crunchies (we lovingly refer to them as Baby Cheetos). Anyway: while they are great, they also have lots o’ sodium and other yucks in them. We started buying Pirate’s Booty instead – it’s organic/natural, it’s yummy, it dissolves in the mouth just like those Gerber products, and it’s much lower in sodium to boot. In fact, we still give him this treat from time to time. Whenever I don’t eat the entire bag myself, that is.

Jim’s Pancakes
Pancakes: hamburger edition? The pancake necklace? The Bay Bridge recreation? I would probably never eat any of these creations (let alone even ATTEMPT to make them, I mean hee! No.), but it’s a fun blog to check every once in awhile and marvel at Jim’s pancake madness.

The Solar family drove the entire stretch of Route 66 as part of their family vacation, and photo-blogged the entire thing. Between the gorgeous shots and the descriptions of their stops along the way, I seriously daydream about doing the same trip. If only I didn’t have a kid who detests the car to the point that he screams until he makes himself sick...

Robot Party of Awesome
I am in full-on party planning mode for the Doot’s robot party, which is in 3 short weeks (gulp). Although if I were to be honest, I would admit that I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I was always a whiz in my high school 3D art class (took Best of Show for my basketweaving skillz at the regional art fair, holla!). I really like DIYing stuff. For our wedding alone, I created the invites and all stationery and embroidered totes for my bridesmaids and made candle holders and pew decorations and and and… Yes, it was insane. So anyway! This little birthday party has allowed me to yet again unleash my inner Crafter, I’ve made banners and cupcake toppers and favor tags and yeah. Just yeah, it is fun and I must really thank the Interwebs personally for all the inspiration provided for my DIY projects. Now I’m off to finish the robot piñata…

10 May 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my Muzzy, who is enjoying the lovely SoCal weather as I type this. And to my dear mother-in-law Kris, too! And to all the other mommies out there: I hope that your day was amazing.

I was treated like a queen this mother’s day – I was able to sleep in, and not once would Scott let me change a diaper. Bliss. Scott even made coffee for me when I got up, just how I like it on the weekends (I drink it black all week at work but weekends I need some sugar and cream, pretty please). I got flowers, I looooove flowers. I pulled out a few stems and put them in small vases in other parts of the house, so I can enjoy them everywhere I go.

First the boys took me out for brunch, at Esquina, our new favorite little Latin American spot. Three fantastic courses - fruit with fresh cinnamon doughnuts to start, then our entrees (I had pulled pork with runner beans, cornbread, and fritter; Scott had flank steak with huevos rancheros), then a trio of desserts. YUM. Peter was lucky and got to eat a bit of everything from our plates, plus his own sopapilla/fruit cup. We had brunch cocktails as well. I had their exotic-fruit mimosa, and Scott ordered the other special of the morning: an iced yerba-maté tea infusion with a splash of cucumber rum. Not bad, just kinda… different.

We headed out to the Legends so I could get some spring/summer apparel. It has been a long time, sadly, since I had last gone shopping for myself – aside from a few quick dashes into Old Navy to get a few shirts/pants for the winter, I have pretty much neglected my wardrobe since I found out I was pregnant. Yeah, that long. So off to Ann Taylor and the like, where I scored a pair of pants, 2 skirts, 2 sundresses, 5 shirts, and the crowning achievement of my shopping excursion: the sweetest lightweight summer sweater from Banana. Very delicate and fits like a dream, with pretty crocheted buttons; I can’t wait to wear it over sundresses. Scott and Peter did their duty and accompanied me to the stores without so much as a peep.

My big request for Mother’s Day is that I wanted to go on a picnic, unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating (chilly and cloudy and a little rainy). So rather than heading to campus as originally planned, we had our picnic on the mat on the kitchen floor. And it was perfect.

I took over bath and bedtime for Peter that night, so Scott did house clean up. Peter was worn out after our long day, so he curled into me and fell asleep before he could finish his bottle (a rarity). I sat upstairs for awhile, just held him and rocked him. He is the sweetest, happy little guy, I don’t know why I got so lucky. This world is such a better place with his little soul in it.

I am so proud to be his mother.

09 May 2010

Weekly Update 05.09.10

Seriously, it's May already??

Peter and I spent Cinco de Mayo at a BBQ joint, for my coworker's going away party. A bunch of us brought our babies so it was like a daycare on one end - with the young singles/marrieds on the other side, giving the babies the side eye. Heh. All was well and we had a great time, then when we went to leave Peter decided to go out with a bang. As in, bang his head against the side of the table. He was a trooper though and was able to recover in time to give High Fives all around on his way out the door.

Sometimes Scott has to mow when Pete's getting ready to go to bed, so I let him watch "baba" from the window for awhile before hitting the bottle and zonking out.

In other klutzy baby news: Saturday night Peter took a nose-dive into his dresser, whacking his right eye on one of the shiny pretty brushed METAL knobs. His eyelid immediately got a bit purple and his eye swelled half shut. Yeesh. Needless to say he's got quite the shiner now. And I probably checked on him half a dozen times in the middle of the night to make sure he didn't die of I don't know, eyeball-to-brain swelling or something.

Begging for bites of poppyseed roll.

This week I started work on a pinata for Peter's party. God help us all - I haven't made one since I was a little kid and I forgot how messy and sloppy and all-around Yucky the paper-maché part is. I was able to plow through that portion by the end of the weekend. Thank goodness for cold beer (through a straw, because my hands were goopy), I'm not sure I would have survived it otherwise.

Scott and I both headed to the Salon over lunch on Friday to get our hair cut. I am sure you are like, "wow. That is fascinating" but seriously - Scott went to an actual salon. A Real Stylist in a Real Salon. Not a barbershop, not some random woman at Great Clips. He was actually growing it out just for me so he could impress me with his adult hair cut. Looks great too, by the way.

Scott also got started on the Festivus Ale for next winter. This will guarantee that it is not as... strong... as last year's.

Doots says: hmm, needs more hops.

Saturday was pretty relaxing. We hit up some yard sales and scored Peter some sweet toys. Including a parking garage for his ever-growing collection of cars, be still his little heart. Okay and a word to the wise for all future yard sale people reading my blog: dudes. You are trying to get rid of things, remember? I know those are PediPed shoes (retail: $30-ish) but: they are also scuffed and the sides are worn down. I'm not paying $9 for them. That goes for the lovely woman peddling her kid's used Robeez (also retail: $30-ish) for $15 a pair, and the washed-too-many-times Gap clothes for $3 a pop. Just FYI. And I wasn't the only "shopper" trying to hide my giggles at your prices, either.

Cars carefully parked in a row.

The boys treated me well on Mother's Day, but I'm going to do a separate post for that. A fun-filled day of brunch and shopping and a picnic. Kinda. It was a little cold and drizzly so we picnic-ed on the kitchen floor. It was perfect.

And as a big finale! The baby has learned all sorts of new fun tricks this week - oh my gosh, it's mind blowing how quickly they start picking things up - but probably the most exciting was the beginning of teeny, tiny, baby steps. Granted, those attempted steps are nothing if not ugly (needs more polish. And actual knee bending), and without fail he falls flat on his face after one tiny step. But still! 'A' for effort, little man.